Where to put millions headed for Atlanta? - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Where to put millions headed for Atlanta?

Source: WGCL Source: WGCL
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

Where are we going to put the millions of newcomers headed for Atlanta? Crowded streets and rising house prices make adding 2.5 million people in the next 20 years seem pretty scary to those of us already here.

Atlanta's looking for new answers in a new way -- a design contest.

Over 150 engineers and architect firms signed up to win the city's price. Where do we find more housing for the very toughest to house in Atlanta? They picked a heck of a spot for the contest.

Santa Fe Villas, an old motor lodge on U.S. Highway 41 -- five miles up from the airport -- was prime in the 1940's for tourist headed to Florida. It's glory faded into prostitution, drugs and crime.

Today, Leroy Sylvester tells CBS46 why his neighbors are excited about the competition making changes. 

"A new place that tenants can go to and relax," says Sylvester.

A non-profit company owns Santa Fe now, housing 100 disabled and low-income residents with rent mostly paid with taxpayer funds.

At City Hall, Tim Keane, Atlanta's planning commissioner, launched the contest to expand low-income housing in corridors across Atlanta, and one idea is obvious.

"First thing we noticed when we went there, there's a lot of parking, but there's no cars," says Keane. "The people who live there cannot afford cars, so they use the bus."

Santa Fe's five acres, and two more from the blousy town and country courts next door, are the ingredients for cooking up a whole new place to live.

The contest winners get $20,000 and money to move their proposals toward actually being built here.

Commissioner Keane was surprised that 150 contestants participated, more than twice what he expected, and some international.

Designed are due in mid December.

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