Finding Home on the Westside: The Story of Raymond Hill

Raymond Hill has been a resident of the historic Westside for decades. He and his family, including his mother and siblings lived in the area for many years during his youth. When Hill became a father with a family of his own, he remained in the neighborhood while raising his children. Over the last three decades, Hill resided at the apartment complex on Oliver Street, which over the years fell into decline and ultimately became an unsafe dwelling for its tenants.  Last year, Hill, who lives with a disability, learned that the apartment complex had been sold to Westside Future Fund (WFF).  Preparing for his move, Hill says he searched Atlanta looking for affordable apartments.

“At the first of the year I went looking for apartments and I must have covered all of Northwest, Southwest and Northeast Atlanta,” said Hill. “I couldn’t find a place in my budget. God sent an angel, that was Westside Future Fund, came to me and said you had a place for me that was right around the corner .”

Hill learned of  WFF’s Home on the Westside program and later moved into a new multifamily property — 400 Paines Ave, which opened in the winter of 2023. The apartment includes six units including a mix of 1 and 2 bedrooms and an ADA accessible unit. It is also located near Kathryn Johnston Memorial Park; developing high-quality affordable housing near greenspace has been a key part of WFF’s land acquistion strategy. Hill says he’s grateful to the organization for helping him find a home in the community he loves.

“In my new apartment it’s like I’m in the Jetsons or the future and I just left prehistoric times,” said Hill. “I can’t thank the Westside Future Fund enough — I’m grateful.”

400 Paines Avenue is one of three multifamily properties WFF opened last year in the English Avenue neighborhood.  The 21 new high-quality affordable housing units are in addition to WFF’s existing portfolio of 181 units and represent over $30 million worth of investment in multifamily projects completed, and underway. Each of the newly opened multifamily properties are fully rehabbed existing buildings. The building sites were previously blighted and vacant. They have been renovated instead of torn down to preserve the historic character of the community.  Rents for these apartments will serve people at 60 percent area median income (AMI) or less, and all of the projects will feature Homeflex project-based rental assistance from Atlanta Housing.

WFF is currently developing an additional 104 high-quality, affordable housing units, in both new construction projects and substantial project rehabs, throughout its service footprint.

WFF’s mission to advance a compassionate approach to equitable revitalization is achieved through the support of our philanthropic partners. The organization has launched Our Next Chapter, a capital fundraising campaign to accelerate its ability to create affordable housing for legacy and future residents of the historic Westside and to restore these storied neighborhoods as part of the fabric of Atlanta. Become a part of Our Next Chapter.