Five Georgia communities have been selected to receive assistance with their housing needs through the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing, a public-private initiative focused on helping communities grow their economies through housing-related solutions.
Liberty County, Cedartown, Madison, Pine Mountain and Trion will begin the three-year program in February. Through training and technical instruction during a series of retreats, community-housing teams design and implement strategies to enhance their economies as well as the quality of life for their citizens. During these work sessions, each team will work with and receive continuous feedback from a facilitator or housing professional, as well as engage in cross-community collaboration.
The teams consist of about 12 members and include representatives from local government, business, nonprofit housing organizations and the public-housing authority. Other groups may include faith-based organizations, churches, development authorities, chambers of commerce, school systems, major employers and law enforcement.
Since the program’s inception in 2005, 50 Georgia communities have benefited from the GICH program. Communities currently enrolled in the program are Pembroke, Rincon, Albany, Dalton, Douglasville, Greensboro, Lithonia, Perry, Porterdale and Roswell.
Some of the resulting strategies undertaken by communities include revitalizing distressed neighborhoods and subdivisions, developing multi-family apartments through tax credits, updating codes and ordinances, creating a land-bank authority, writing an urban-redevelopment plan, conducting a housing assessment and launching community clean-up programs.
Communities are selected based on need and their demonstrated commitment to community improvement.