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.”