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Read it – Decatur releases completed diversity study


Read it – Decatur releases completed diversity study

A mural in Decatur's Oakhurst neighborhood
A mural showing what Decatur strives to be.

A mural on the wall of the Oakhurst Market

The city of Decatur has completed its diversity study.

City officials released the study on Thursday, Oct. 24. Earlier this week, Decaturish had filed a records request for the completed report, if available, and any draft copies that exist.

Titled, “Findings on the state of diversity in the city of Decatur,” the report adds more depth to information presented to City Commissioners on Aug. 4, but its original conclusions haven’t changed. Decatur’s white population has grown from 60 percent in 1990 to 73.5 percent. Conversely, Decatur’s black population made up about 40 percent of the city’s population in 1990 and declined to 20 percent in 2010. Decatur’s non-black minority population, which includes Hispanics, increased from 1 percent in 1990 to 6 percent in 2010.

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The report does not provide information on housing trends, which would include information about “tear-down” houses built on the lots of smaller, older homes. It does recommend that the city update its Affordable Housing Study from 2008.

The report says the apartment projects that are currently under development and changes to the city’s zoning code, called a Unified Development Ordinance, can provide more affordable housing options for Decatur residents.  The report also discounts the idea of economic incentives, like a city-wide minimum wage. The report says they would be impractical since most of Decatur’s residents work outside of Decatur’s city limits.

Here is the full report. Please post your observations in the comments section or send a letter to the editor to [email protected]:

2014 Diversity Research Report_FINAL