Commissioner Terry Advances DeKalb Green New Deal Agenda, Paving the Way for Sustainable Cottage Communities During Nationwide Housing Crisis

Cottage Court Ordinance changes zoning laws to allow for micro-homes to be built in DeKalb County

DEKALB COUNTY– Commissioner Ted Terry (D-District 6) last week advanced his Green New Deal agenda with the passage of the Cottage Court Ordinance, which amends the existing DeKalb County Zoning Ordinance to allow for smaller homes to be built on smaller lots, sustainably increasing affordable housing stock. 

A Dekalb County Housing Affordability study confirms that 35 percent of DeKalb County households have a housing affordability burden, paying more than 30 percent of their income for their housing. This same study highlights the steady decline of affordable rental housing units in DeKalb county from 2000 to 2019, with the share of affordable rental units declining most significantly, from 54 percent to 34 percent for very low income households. 

“Building cottage homes is a critical component of addressing the nationwide housing crisis,” said Commissioner Terry. “Not only are we able to provide developers with another, cheaper option other than single-family, detached residential construction on single lots, but cottage homes require less energy and are more sustainable.”

When Commissioner Terry was Mayor of Clarkson, he joined with MicroLife Institute to 

spearheaded the construction of the Cottages on Vaughn, a pocket community of 8 homes built on only half an acre. Because of their size, cottage homes often require less energy to heat, cool and light the home. They can also be a powerful conservation tool because more homes can be built on less land. 

The Cottages on Vaughn have been recognized locally by the Atlanta Regional Commission, and nationally by the US Department of Housing and Urban HUD, which called the project, “a practical solution to address affordability and accessibility.” 

“I’m excited to bring an affordable housing solution I know works to DeKalb residents,” said Commissioner Terry. “Not only are cottages affordable, they’re designed with sustainability in mind. For example, cottages are built in walkable areas so residents don’t have to rely on emissions-producing cars to go about their daily lives. Additionally, the look and feel of the cottages are designed to blend into the surrounding community, reducing the stigma often associated with affordable housing developments.”

Just Announced: Commissioner Terry’s Committee Assignments

District 6 Commissioner’s committee assignments allow him to continue his focus on public safety enhancements and vital water and sewer infrastructure work

DEKALB COUNTY – During today’s DeKalb County Board meeting, Commissioner Ted Terry (D-District 6) was named Chair of the Employee Relations & Public Safety (ERPS) Committee and member of the Public Works & Infrastructure (PWI) Committee.

The following is a statement from Terry in response to his re-assignments to these committees, which allow him to continue his existing work and move new initiatives forward:

“For the past two years on the ERPS committee, as chair, we’ve successfully focused on public safety enhancements, including expanding FLOCK cameras installations and new gas station surveillance regulations, increasing the minimum wage for frontline workers, and pushing forward proposals for better retirement benefits for Police, Fire and E911 personnel. 

“Our goals for 2024 will include continuing work on those important priorities from last year, while also moving forward legislation to create a Police Civilian Oversight Board and investing in health and wellness programs for all 6,000+ employees and expanding youth violence prevention programs run by DeKalb’s Police Athletic League, the DeKalb Youth Commission, and community-based nonprofits, such as the 100 Black Men of DeKalb, leadership and mentoring program”

“As a member of PWI for the fourth year, I will continue to focus on the vital water and sewer infrastructure system and EPA consent decree work to ensure the hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in the county’s aging pipes and treatment facilities continues in a transparent and regularly audited fashion. In addition, we’ll work to provide dedicated oversight into the SPLOST 1 & 2 project lists as it relates to road resurfacing, sidewalks and trail expansion, and improve mobility and transportation options for DeKalb residents, and follow through with a review of the results of an audit of the Sanitation Departments Recycling program to ensure curbside recycling does not end up at the landfill.”

“These committee priorities, in addition to my DeKalb Green New Deal Agenda and housing initiatives, will ensure that DeKalb County residents have well-rounded access to safety, wellness and sustainable housing.”