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Helping build communities through Community & Economic Development, Local Government Assistance and Safe & Affordable Housing

DCA Guide to Services From the Commissioner

At the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, we provide financial resources and technical assistance to help communities prepare for economic development opportunities and create workforce housing. Our team has a long history of working with local leaders to develop solutions for community issues and to create opportunities for communities to succeed in growing jobs through organic, small-business growth and through the location of economic development prospects. DCA’s strengths lie in our ability to understand a community’s challenges and opportunities and to collaborate with local governments, authorities, state agencies, and non-profits to develop locally-driven solutions.

Whether it’s community development grants or housing tax credits, help with planning or recruiting volunteers, everything we do at DCA shares a common goal: to help build strong, vibrant communities in every corner of our state. We look forward to working with you as you build the communities you envision. Christopher Nunn Commissioner

Resources and Assistance •

Funding: Disbursing state and/or federal funds to build or create something the community has deemed important; sidewalks, roads, parks, public buildings, water and sewer facilities, housing choices or economic development projects.

Incentives: Providing ways to encourage the private sector to invest and fill a need that is important to a community, but which it cannot complete with available means. Tax credits, low-interest rate mortgages and down-payment assistance programs are in this category.

Partnerships: Fostering partnerships with a private for-profit or non-profit entity, quasigovernmental agency, or other government entity to achieve a goal. Collaboration to build low- to moderate-income housing is one example, as local governments work with developers to make the benefits of the Housing Tax Credit incentive work for everyone.

Technical Assistance: By employing experts in many different fields, including financing, planning, research, citizen engagement, and governance, our staff can help local governments select appropriate strategies to help them meet their local goals. Page | 1

DCA Guide to Services The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has served as an advocate for our state’s communities since 1977. After more than four decades, DCA’s programs and staff continue to provide critical support for community development, housing, and quality of life initiatives throughout the state, to communities large and small, urban and rural. These efforts all play a role in fulfilling our mission:

To help build strong, vibrant communities. At the close of Fiscal Year 2017, DCA had: •

Managed more than $379 million in state and federal funding for Georgia’s communities.

Leveraged $6.3 million in EDGE and REBA state funds to generate $555 million in private investment, creating and retaining 4,862 jobs in 11 Georgia locations.

Maintained an AAA Bond rating for the Georgia Housing Finance Authority. GHFA is one of only 9 state housing agencies in the nation to achieve and maintain this ratings level, which represents sound financial management & investment practices.

Served more than 16,000 Georgia families through the Housing Choice Voucher Programadding more than $100 million to Georgia’s economy each year through direct payments to private landlords.

Helped Georgia Main Street communities add 2,929 net new jobs and open 685 new businesses, spurring more than $400 million of private and public investment in 90 Georgia cities. The Office of Downtown Development now serves 111 Main Street communities throughout the state.

Assisted 10,000 individuals and families in 135 Georgia counties through the HomeSafe Georgia program, committing more than $221 million in U.S. Treasury funding to help keep unemployed/under-employed homeowners from foreclosure.

Created and retained over 4,700 jobs through the SSBCI Program. This program generated private investment of more than $329.9 million with 536 loans serving 75 counties.

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DCA Guide to Services DCA offers a variety of financial resources and technical assistance to help communities realize their vision of success and improve the lives of their citizens. These resources, when used effectively and in concert with each other, can drive major improvements in a community and lead to an improved quality of life. This guide is organized by the following categories to help users easily find what they are seeking: Community & Economic Development, Local Government Assistance, and Safe & Affordable Housing.

Getting Started

The DCA Regional Representatives are a vital entry point to help navigate the agency’s diverse web of programs and resources. These experienced team members are available to discuss a community’s needs and options, then help access, organize and manage the various types of assistance offered by DCA. Regional representatives are located in each of the state’s 12 service delivery regions, and can help a community decide which tools are best to address its particular needs. Just as important, these team members maintain a network of regional and statewide partners that can provide additional assistance to complement what DCA offers, and can bring those resources to communities as well. Finally, DCA Regional Representatives coordinate and facilitate many of the agency’s special initiatives, including the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing, and Main Street™ assistance.

DCA Regional Representatives Region 1

Patrick Vickers

(404) 695-2093


Region 2

Kathy Papa

(770) 362-7078


Region 3

John VanBrunt

(706) 825-1356


Region 4

Corinne Thornton

(706) 340-6461


Region 5

Beth Eavenson

(404) 387-6977


Region 6

Tonya Mole

(404) 852-6876


Region 7

Tina Hutcheson

(478) 278-9434


Region 8

Casey Beane

(404) 227-2860


Region 9

Lynn Ashcraft

(478) 484-0321


Region 10

Gina Webb

(404) 387-1429


Region 11

Kelly Lane

(404) 227-3619


Region 12

Jennifer Fordham

(912) 531-1746

region12@dca.ga.gov Page | 3

DCA Guide to Services Service Delivery Regions

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Our Community and Economic Development programs offer resources to help build a great quality of life, create and retain jobs and foster a climate for economic success in your local community.

FUNDING PROGRAMS Financial resources for community development projects Appalachian Regional Commission Provides matching grant funds to eligible applicants within the 37-county ARC service area. There are quarterly funding cycles with 5 goal areas: 1. Economic Opportunities 2. Ready Workforce 3. Critical Infrastructure 4. Natural and Cultural Assets 5. Leadership and Community Capacity Bond Allocation Program DCA manages the allocation of private activity bonds to ensure the State of Georgia does not exceed the bond cap. Projects include traditional industrial revenue bonds (IDB) and exempt facility bonds. Economic development projects must commit to create or retain one (1) job for every $125,000 of financing. Community Development Block Grant This competitive funding source provides up to $750,000 for single-activity and $1,000,000 for comprehensive, multi-activity projects. Must benefit predominantly low to moderate income persons. Once a year application/award cycle, available to non-entitlement communities. CDBG Loan Guarantee Program A flexible economic and community development financing tool for certain large-scale economic development projects that cannot proceed without loan guarantee assistance. Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DDRLF) Assists cities, counties and development authorities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas by providing below-market rate financing to fund capital projects in core historic downtown areas and adjacent historic neighborhoods. Georgia Cities Foundation is a frequent partner in larger projects. Page | 5

DCA Guide to Services FUNDING PROGRAMS Financial resources for community development projects Immediate Threat and Danger Provides 50% matching funds for community development activities having a particular urgency when existing conditions pose a serious and immediate threat to the health or welfare of the community. OneGeorgia Authority Provides grants and loans typically for land acquisition and infrastructure development, machinery purchases, business relocation assistance, entrepreneur support, and other economic development capacity building and job creation projects. Funding flows through local & regional development authorities, and is segmented into the EDGE and Equity programs. Redevelopment Fund Provides flexible financial assistance including grants and loans to local governments to assist in implementing challenging economic and community development projects that would not otherwise proceed. Regional Economic Business Assistance (REBA) This incentive program enhances Georgia’s competitiveness in attracting sizeable economic development projects and acts as a vehicle for significant local, regional or statewide initiatives having short- or long-term economic development benefits. Generally, REBA funds are targeted for projects in non-rural counties. Revitalization Area Strategies (RAS) This program offers incentives to communities that implement comprehensive redevelopment activities for targeted areas in their city or county. The RAS area must be within the Urban Redevelopment Area and a Census Block Group with 20% or greater poverty. Opportunity Zones, Enterprise Zones, Community Improvement Districts, and Tax Allocation Districts may be combined with RAS. State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) SSBCI’s purpose is to stimulate private financing for small business growth, and includes funding for the Small Business Credit Guarantee and Loan Participation programs.

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DCA Guide to Services INCENTIVE PROGRAMS Providing opportunities to help communities achieve their visions Enterprise Zones Intended to improve geographic municipalities suffering from disinvestment, underdevelopment and economic decline, these zones provide a toolbox of possible tax incentives and/or fee reductions for local governments to make available. Must meet at least 3 of 5 specific criteria. Job Tax Credits Available to businesses or headquarters engaged in manufacturing, warehousing & distribution, processing, telecommunications, tourism, or research & development industries in Georgia’s 40 least developed counties. Does not include retail. Counties are ranked annually based upon: unemployment rate; per capita income; and percentage of residents with incomes below poverty level. If other requirements are met, job tax credits may be available to any business, including retail. Opportunity Zones Provides tax credits to target impoverished areas that are in decline, suffering from disinvestment, and/or are in need of redevelopment and revitalization. Military Zones The military zone designation allows census tracts located adjacent to a military base, and with pervasive poverty as reflected in the most recent decennial census, to receive the highest benefit level allowed under the Job Tax Credit Program. Rural Zones The establishment of up to 10 Rural Zones per year will enable businesses and investors to obtain tax credits for qualified activities occurring within designated Rural Zones. Credits will be available for job creation activities, investment in downtown properties, and renovation of properties. Tourism Development Act A state sales and use tax refund program for qualifying new or expanding tourism projects to maintain a portion of their sales tax revenues for 10 years. Projects must meet the following criteria: 1. Construct a qualifying tourism attraction costing a minimum of $1 million; 2. Attract at least 25% of visitors from out of state following its third year; 3. Contribute a significant positive economic impact on the state considering, among other factors, the extent to which the project may compete directly with other tourism attractions in the state.

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Our Local Government Assistance programs provide information, training, and resources to equip local governments with the information and tools they need to make well-informed decisions and set the stage for success.

PROGRAMS, PARTNERSHIPS AND RESOURCES Customized resources to support the specific needs of a community, foster partnerships and enhance growth AmeriCorps/Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism Engages Georgians in service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. In particular, we deploy the AmeriCorps program, which comprises federal funding, state coordination and community participation. Community Planning Institute Annual seminars for local planning commissioners, elected officials, staff and other interested parties. Courses are one or two days, and cover a variety of community development topics: preparing a comprehensive plan, using a plan effectively, tools to implement a local plan, and water resource management. Construction Codes and Industrialized Buildings DCA facilitates and convenes advisory groups for specific topics related to building and community development and leads the adoption of statewide standards. DCA also provides technical assistance to local communities by drafting model codes and resolutions, and by offering workshops on code and building-related topics. Georgia Academy for Economic Development Four-day training program offered annually in the 12 service delivery regions to assist local leaders in their economic development efforts by providing an understanding of the critical processes, strategies and components involved in improving their local and regional economies and achieving economic success in today's global economy. Developed and implemented through state partners’ consortium of economic development agencies, supported by staff from DCA, Georgia EMC, and Georgia Power.

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DCA Guide to Services PROGRAMS, PARTNERSHIPS AND RESOURCES Customized resources to support the specific needs of a community, foster partnerships and enhance growth Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation KGBF engages all sectors in keeping Georgia beautiful: civic, business and government. As the firstever state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful (KAB), it provides support to the 77 local affiliates in Georgia, the largest network in the country. Local Comprehensive Planning A community plan outlines strategies to achieve goals and meet community needs. Our planning staff can provide hands-on assistance to address issues specifically identified in local comprehensive plans, and offer appropriate tools to achieve a community vision. Mapping & Analytics In addition to serving as the nexus for the decennial Census, this resource provides custom maps and data for various programs. Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council Promotes the legacy and teaching of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through education, recognition of civil rights achievements and bringing partners together to achieve community goals. Implements the state’s annual observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday. PlanFirst Recognizes and rewards communities that clearly demonstrate an established pattern of successfully implementing their Local Comprehensive Plans. PlanFirst designation brings statewide recognition and incentives ranging from free tuition for the Community Planning Institute to reduced interest rates on certain state loans. Research & Surveys Analysis of many activities and functions of Georgia local governments, such as the Hotel-Motel Excise Tax, as well as the collection, management, and administration of data and reports which provide critical information to local and statewide elected officials, citizens and staff, including monthly jail reports and the annual Government Management Indicators Survey (GOMI), Wage and Salary Survey, and Report of Local Government Finances.

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Our Housing programs help communities develop and implement sound strategies to provide citizens with safe and affordable housing.

FUNDING PROGRAMS Helping communities improve housing opportunities for Georgia citizens Community HOME Investment Program (CHIP) Funds to help local governments, nonprofit organizations and public housing authorities provide affordable housing in their communities. Funds may be used to provide eligible, low- and moderate income households with down payment assistance or to assist with homeowner rehabilitation. Emergency Solutions Grants Provides funds for outreach, shelter, rapid re-housing, homelessness prevention and related services to organizations who serve persons experiencing homelessness, or for persons in danger of becoming homeless, throughout the state. Georgia Balance of State Continuum of Care Program A competitive federally-funded program designed to help move homeless individuals and families into permanent housing. Funds are provided to organizations that provide services to homeless persons. Georgia Dream Homeownership Program Affordable mortgage financing and down payment assistance for eligible low and moderate income home buyers available through private lenders across the state. Home Access Program Provides funding to help those with disabilities make accessibility improvements so that they can remain in their own homes. Funds are provided from the Brain and Spinal Injury Trust Fund Commission and serve persons that have sustained traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries. HomeSafe Georgia A state-administered, federally-funded program that assists homeowners who are facing financial hardships to help save their homes from foreclosure.

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DCA Guide to Services FUNDING PROGRAMS Helping communities improve housing opportunities for Georgia citizens HOME Rental Housing Loan Program In conjunction with the Housing Tax Credit program, provides low interest loans to for-profit and non-profit developers for the construction and/or renovation of affordable multifamily rental housing in communities across Georgia. Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) Provides housing assistance (emergency, shelter, transitional and/or permanent) for lower income persons with HIV/AIDS. Funds are typically sub-granted to non-profit agencies within the communities that make their own rules for programs and criteria for assistance, provided that such rules are within the scope of HOPWA regulations and guidance from HUD. Housing Tax Credit Program Provides the private market with an incentive to invest in affordable rental housing. Federal housing tax credits are awarded to developers of qualified projects that provide housing opportunities in Georgia.

HUD Housing Counseling Program This program funds a network of Housing Counseling Agencies and counselors to provide tools to current and prospective homeowners and renters to help them make informed choices to address their housing needs. Rental Assistance (Housing Choice Voucher Program) Assists very low-income families, the elderly and the disabled to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market. DCA receives federal funds from HUD to administer the voucher program.

Section 811 Project Rental Assistance Demonstration Provides project based rental assistance in connection with community based services to extremely low income persons with disabilities. The program seeks to provide integrated housing to help promote recovery and housing stability. Shelter Plus Care (S+C) Program In conjunction with state funding, provides funding for permanent housing and supportive services for individuals (and their families) who are homeless and have a disability.

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DCA Guide to Services PARTNERSHIPS AND RESOURCES Helping communities meet the housing needs of all citizens GeorgiaHousingSearch.org Online resource matching those seeking affordable rental options with units available. Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) Offered in partnership with The University of Georgia’s Housing and Demographics Research Center, UGA’s Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, and the Georgia Municipal Association, this three-year program helps communities create and launch a locallybased plan to meet housing needs. Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a technological solution used to collect client level data and data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and those at risk of homelessness. It also provides a community with an unduplicated count of its homeless population. DCA administers the HMIS on behalf of local communities in Georgia. Re-Entry Partnership Housing Program A unique collaboration with the Georgia Department of Corrections, the State Board of Pardons and Parole, and the Department of Community Supervision, this program helps coordinate housing for persons who have remained in prison after the Pardon Board has authorized their release due solely to having no residential options.

The Georgia Landlord Tenant Handbook A publication designed to answer common residential landlord-tenant questions. The free handbook is available on the Georgia Department of Community Affairs website under Publications.

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Executive Leadership Christopher Nunn


John Ellis

Chief Operating Officer

Carmen Chubb

Deputy Commissioner Housing

Rusty Haygood

Deputy Commissioner Community Development & Finance

Christy Barnes

Director, Legal Affairs

Seth Coker

Director, Government & External Relations

MaryBrown Sandys

Director, Marketing & Communications

60 Executive Park South, NE Atlanta, GA 30329 (404) 679-4940 www.dca.ga.gov The Georgia Department of Community Affairs is committed to providing all persons with equal access to its services, programs, activities, education, and employment regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability or age. For reasonable accommodation or any other issues, please contact us at fairhousing@dca.ga.gov.


Profile for GA_DCA

Georgia Department of Community Affairs: 2018 Guide to Services  

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) offers a variety of financial resources and technical assistance to help communities reali...

Georgia Department of Community Affairs: 2018 Guide to Services  

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) offers a variety of financial resources and technical assistance to help communities reali...

Profile for ga_dca