Atlanta’s East Lake Initiative

Research Report

Atlanta’s East Lake Initiative

A Long-Term Impact Evaluation of a Comprehensive Community Initiative
January 13, 2022


Atlanta’s East Lake Initiative—a comprehensive community initiative—has directly invested or leveraged more than $600 million into the East Lake community since 1995. One of nation’s first efforts to convert public housing into a mixed-income community, the initiative has three pillars: physical redevelopment, cradle-to-college education, and community wellness supports. This report uses the synthetic control method to conduct the first impact assessment of the initiative, finding that it led to sizable local changes, including decreases in poverty and increases in income, college degree holding, and home values. These effects may be driven by changes of people rather than changes for people, as the study also finds that the share of the population that was Black decreased and the share that was white increased. Population levels, housing tenure, and gross rents were unchanged.

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