Office of Communications
City, Partners Exceed 2023 Housing Savannah Action Plan Goals
Record Year for Affordable and Workforce Housing Initiatives
SAVANNAH (Jan. 31, 2024) – The City of Savannah and partners exceeded several key goals in 2023 that were established in the Housing Savannah Action Plan adopted by City Council in Oct. 2021.
Key among those accomplishments was a record $8.4 million City and Savannah Affordable Housing Fund investment that exceeded the $4 million 2023 Housing Savannah Action Plan goal. When completed, 2023 Action Plan activities will benefit 766 households, exceeding the goal of 650. From 2022 to 2023, 1,691 households have been helped, exceeding the original goal of 1,200.
“The continued strides made in 2023 show us that the Housing Savannah Action Plan is working and that our efforts are making the desired impacts,” City Manager Joseph A. “Jay” Melder said. “The City of Savannah, along with our partner agencies, will continue to lead the way on housing initiatives with the goal of all Savannahians having access to safe, stable homes that they can afford.”
Housing Savannah, Inc. fundraising efforts secured nearly $5.9 million for the Savannah Affordable Housing Fund in 2023, surpassing the $2.7 million Action Plan goal. Leading the way were the City’s $3.5 million commitment, the Galvan Foundation’s $1 million investment and the Georgia Ports Authority’s (GPA) record $6 million investment that resulted in the first of eight $750,000 annual installments.
"This has been another banner year for the City and its housing partners as we continue our efforts to address housing affordability in Savannah,” Director of Housing and Neighborhood Services Martin Fretty said. “As we enter into another year, we continue to use the Housing Savannah Action Plan as a blueprint to make Savannah a more affordable place to live and hope to exceed our goals each year.”
In its first two years, the funding goals established by the Housing Savannah Action Plan were set at $56 million. The total affordable and workforce housing investments during these two years exceeded $156 million, including $21.5 million in City/Affordable Housing Fund investments and $134.8 million in other investments.
Major 2023 housing developments involving the City of Savannah and partners include the completion of 21 homes at Savannah Gardens, assisting the Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless in completing the final 12 tiny homes for veterans at the Cove at Dundee and launching construction of 40 new cottages and a resident service building at the adjacent Dundee Cottages.
In 2023, the City and partners assisted 392 renters with security deposits and other forms of rental assistance needed to secure and avoid displacement from affordable housing, more than triple the number of residents helped in 2022.
The City and partners assisted 152 lower-income homeowners with home improvements, many of whom were senior citizens; 58 modest-income home buyers with purchasing their first home, including closing costs, down payment and gap financing; and acquired 35 vacant, blighted properties that will be developed into neighborhood benefitting and affordable housing.
While 2023 was another record-setting year, the planning efforts have set up 2024 for repeated success in creating innovative, affordable housing initiatives necessary to continue implementation of the Housing Savannah Action Plan.
In 2024, the City and partners anticipate helping 250 homeowners secure funding for home repairs; 60 home buyers purchase their first home; and 150 renters secure or retain affordable rental housing.
At least two major affordable and workforce housing developments are expected to begin in 2024: Four apartments for medically fragile persons experiencing homelessness at 1826 Florance Street, and 16 two-bedroom apartments and resident service space at 916 MLK, Jr. Blvd. for couples and small families exiting homelessness.
The City of Savannah and its partners are also committed to reaching the Housing Savannah Action Plan goal of assisting 750 households this year. The City also expects to support at least two State of Georgia tax credit applications that, if awarded, will create more than 100 new apartments.
Progress on the Housing Savannah Action Plan can be viewed on a monthly dashboard report at savannahga.gov/housing. Residents in need of assistance can also find resources at savannahga.gov/housing.
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