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Rincon chosen for community housing initiative

POSTED: December 30, 2013 7:13 p.m.

Five Georgia communities — Albany, Douglasville, Perry, Porterdale and Rincon — have been selected to begin a three-year program to assist them in addressing their housing needs.


The Georgia Initiative for Community Housing is a collaboration of the Housing and Demographics Research Center and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and the Georgia Municipal Association.


The program is funded by the Georgia Power Company. Additional in-kind services are provided by the University of Georgia’s Archway Partnership and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. The five communities selected will attend their first workshop in February 2014.


Each year, at least five communities are selected to participate in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing.


During the three-year program, each community housing team receives facilitation, instruction, and technical assistance as they design and implement a housing program to improve both the quality of life of its citizens and the communities’ economic conditions.


The centerpiece of the GICH program is a series of workshops, where each housing team will work separately with a facilitator/housing professional, as well as engage in cross-community sharing and collaboration. Each community receives continuous feedback throughout the three-year program by working closely with their own program facilitator or housing professional.


In addition, participation in this program qualifies the community for lower GEFA interest rates, bonus points for CHIP (community housing investment program) grant applications, and yearly CDBG (community development block grant) submittals.


Any city, county, or public housing authority in Georgia was eligible to apply, on behalf of a community housing team. The teams consist of about 12 members and include representatives from local government, business (banks, real estate, and builders/developers), nonprofit housing organizations, and the public housing authority. Other groups may include faith-based organizations, churches, development authorities, chamber of commerce, school system, major employers, and law enforcement.


Rincon’s Housing Team consists of Rincon Mayor Ken Lee; Rincon City Planner LaMeisha Hunter Kelly; Taryn Knick, BB&T; Traci Wells, Cora Bett Thomas Realtors; Lamar Smith, Lamar Smith Signature Homes; Bonnie Dixon, United Way of Effingham; James Rutland, Habitat for Humanity; Randy Shearouse, Effingham County Board of Education; Rick Lott, Effingham County Chamber of Commerce; Bill Tyson, Effingham County Cooperative Extension; Vicki Lee, Rincon resident; Rev. Gregory Brunson, Church of the Harvest Ministries; James Head, Rincon Planning and Zoning Board; Chief Philip Scholl, Rincon Police Department; Chief Corey Rahn, Rincon Fire Department; Toni Bresnan, Platinum Properties; and Carole Hogge, Re/Max 1st Choice Realty.


Applications to participate in the program were received by the due date, Sept. 6. After site visits were completed, five communities were selected based on need and the ability to benefit from the program.


If you have any questions regarding this program, call Karen Tinsley at the Housing and Demographics Research Center at the University of Georgia at (706) 542-4949 or send an email to klt@uga.edu.


For more information, visit the DCA Web site at www.dca.ga.gov.

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