Newnan ‘graduates’ from the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing Program

Thu, 09/10/2009 - 3:06pm
By: The Citizen

Group completes three year program that helps communities address housing needs

Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Office of Special Housing Initiatives Director Don Watt, Housing and Demographics Research Center (HDRC) Associate Housing Director Tom Rodgers, Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) Deputy Director Bill Thornton, Georgia Power Company Urban Advisor Steve Foster, and USDA Rural Development Single Family Housing Program Director Ed Peace presented awards to leaders from Colquitt, Metter, Milledgeville, Newnan, and Tifton recognizing each community’s completion of the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) program. The event was held at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa from August 12-14, 2009.

“Safe, clean, secure and affordable housing is essential for any community. If a community lacks housing resources, its growth potential is limited,” said DCA Commissioner Mike Beatty. The GICH program is essential to the economic health of Georgia’s communities. The program is not designed as a quick fix, but instead, the multi-year program places value on understanding, developing, and implementing housing strategies that respond to each community’s specific housing needs.

Launched in November 2004, GICH grew out of Georgia’s experience with the National League of Cities’ Affordable Housing Program. GICH offers communities a three-year program of collaboration and technical assistance. During a community’s participation, it works to create and launch a locally-based plan to meet its housing needs.

DCA, along with GMA and UGA’s HDRC, serve as GICH’s primary partners. Funding is provided by the Georgia Power Company, Wachovia Foundation, the USDA Rural Development, and AGL Resources Foundation. Georgia Electric Membership Corporation and UGA’s Archway Partnership Program serve as GICH’s implementation partners.

“We extend congratulations to the communities and citizens of Colquitt, Metter, Milledgeville, Newnan, and Tifton on their successful completion of the program. Their commitment to the enhanced, GICH-developed housing strategy can only serve to make their communities stronger,” continued Beatty. The graduating communities join the ranks of Camden County, Cartersville, Dalton/Whitfield County, Fort Valley, Hall County, Moultrie, Sylvester, Thomasville, Valdosta, Waycross, and Waynesboro who completed the program in 2007 and 2008.

“The GICH program allowed the City’s housing team to assess its housing needs and look at potential techniques to address them. As a result, Staff is currently working with a sub-committee of the Council to draft an urban redevelopment plan which will lay the groundwork for improving the housing stock throughout Newnan,” said Dana Ethredge, Newnan City Planner.

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