2021 Guide to Services

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Guide to Services 2021 Helping Build Strong, Vibrant Communities Through: Local Government Assistance Safe and Affordable Housing Community & Economic Development


Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Commissioner’s Message Georgia Department of Community Affairs is devoted to lending a helping hand to communities on their journey to growth and prosperity, helping lay the groundwork for economic opportunities and local development efforts across the state. Our programs reflect diverse efforts to provide an array of community-focused services at the state and local level. 2020 was a challenging year for all of us but it highlighted how vital our programs are for many of Georgia’s citizens. We are excited about the possibilities for the future. Our team looks forward to providing you with the same level of exceptional support, assistance, and advocacy. As you review this year’s Guide to Services and explore the wide variety of programs our agency has to offer, it is my sincere desire that you connect with us as we all strive to build strong, vibrant communities across our state.

Christopher Nunn, Commissioner

Norcross Atlanta

Central Office 60 Executive Park South NE Atlanta, GA 30329

Norcross 1854 Shackelford Court Suite 400 Norcross, GA 30093

Waycross

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Waycross 500 Alice Street Waycross, GA 31501


Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

By The Numbers Community Development Community Finance Historic Preservation

Housing Assistance

6

Divisions

Housing Finance and Development Homeownership

60+ Providing Funding

Promoting Compliance Standards

Facilitating Safe & Affordable Housing

Serving Rural Communities

Providing Technical Support

Supporting Local Government Officials

Programs and Resources

Forging State & Federal Partnerships

Providing technical and financial assistance rural Broadband infrastructure

Boosting Homeownership Rates

Providing Incentives for Job Creation

Endorsing Comprehensive Planning

Encouraging Downtown Development and Preservation

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Getting Started DCA offers a variety of financial resources and technical assistance to help communities realize visions 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: Local Government Assistance, Safe & Affordable Housing, and Community & Economic Development. The DCA Regional Representatives are a vital entry point to help navigate the agency’s diverse offering 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. They 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.

DCA Regional Reps Region 1

Patrick Vickers

(404) 695-2093

region1@dca.ga.gov

Region 2

Kathy Papa

(770) 362-7078

region2@dca.ga.gov

Region 3

Tracie Sanchez

(470) 851-8827

region3@dca.ga.gov

Region 4

Corinne Thornton

(706) 340-6461

region4@dca.ga.gov

Region 5

Beth Eavenson

(404) 387-6977

region5@dca.ga.gov

Region 6

Tonya Mole

(404) 852-6876

region6@dca.ga.gov

Region 7

Tina Hutcheson

(478) 278-9434

region7@dca.ga.gov

Region 8

Natalie Bradley

(470) 653-8332

region8@dca.ga.gov

Region 9

Lynn Ashcraft

(478) 484-0321

region9@dca.ga.gov

Region 10

Gina Webb

(404) 387-1429

region10@dca.ga.gov

Region 11

Kelly Lane

(404) 227-3619

region11@dca.ga.gov

Region 12

Jennifer Fordham

(912) 531-1746

region12@dca.ga.gov

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

DCA Regions

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Our Programs Local Government Assistance: These programs provide information, training and resources to equip local government officials with the information and tools they need to make wellinformed decisions and set the stage for success. Safe & Affordable Housing: These programs help communities develop and implement sound strategies to provide citizens with safe and affordable housing. Community & Economic Development: These programs offer resources to help build a great quality of life, create and retain jobs, and foster a climate for economic success. The following pages outline, with some brief details, DCA’s breadth of program offerings which can be categorized as follows:

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Funding

Incentives

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Partnerships

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Technical Assistance

Disbursing state Providing ways Fostering Employing experts in and/or federal to encourage the partnerships with many different fields, funds to build or private sector to a private for-profit including financing, create something invest and fill a need or non-profit entity, planning, research, the community has that is important to quasi-governmental citizen engagement deemed important a community, often agency, or another and governance can such as sidewalks, resulting in a public- government entity to help local governments roads, parks, public private partnership. achieve a goal. develop appropriate buildings, water strategies to help meet and sewer facilities, local goals. housing choices, or economic development projects.

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Local Government Assistance

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DCA’s Office of Planning, in partnership with the Georgia Planning Association, offers the Community Planning institute (CPI) to Georgia’s planning commissioners, elected officials, and local government staff. CPI provides information about planning for land use, growth, and development. Annual seminars are held 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 such as preparation, effective use, and implementation tools for comprehensive plans. Scholarships are available through the Denise Abboud Memorial Fund through the Georgia Planning Memorial Foundation.

The Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) offers communities a three-year program of collaboration and technical assistance related to housing and community development. The objective of the initiative is to help communities create and implement a locally based plan to meet their housing needs. The Archway Partnership, Carl Vinson Institute of Government, and UGA Extension provide in-kind support, and the program is partially funded by a USDA Rural Development RCDI grant.

Community Planning Institute (CPI)

Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH)

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Construction Codes and Industrialized Buildings DCA facilitates and convenes advisory groups for specific topics related to building and community development, leads the adoption process of statewide standards, provides technical assistance to local communities by drafting model codes and resolutions, and offers workshops on code and building-related topics. Mandatory codes are applicable to all construction whether or not they are locally enforced, and permissive codes are only applicable if a local government chooses to adopt and enforce one or more of these codes.

Funding

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Incentives

Partnerships

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Local Comprehensive Planning

To provide for better consistency and coordination between local governments in this vital activity, the State of Georgia has passed laws and regulations to guide communities in the preparation of their plans. The Office of Planning provides a variety of useful tools and resources to help local governments comply with these requirements. To encourage local governments’ engagement in comprehensive planning, Georgia incentivizes it by allowing cities and counties with DCA-approved comprehensive plans access to a special package of financial resources to aid in implementing their plans.

Technical Assistance

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Local Government Assistance

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council The Martin Luther King, Jr. Advisory Council was created by the Georgia General Assembly to promote the legacy and nonviolent principles of Dr. King. In 2011, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill to create the Council which consists of nine Georgians serving four-year terms. Through a number of forums and initiatives, DCA fosters partnerships to help communities achieve their goals and encourage collaboration in specific areas through the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism and the Martin Luther King Jr. Advisory Council.

Surveys & Research

DCA has various responsibilities, including providing the state with ample actionable data to make operations more meaningful and efficient for communities. The Research & Surveys group collects, maintains, and publishes data on Georgia’s local governments and authorities. These types of programs are generally divided into areas of focus concerning the tracking of funds and the reporting of operations. Tools such as the Uniform Chart of Accounts standardize accounting practices to be used by communities throughout the state consistently. Others, such as the Contact Database, centralize information for public use.

PlanFirst

PlanFirst recognizes and rewards communities that clearly demonstrate an established pattern of successfully implementing their Local Comprehensive Plan. Any size community is encouraged to apply, provided it has a history of public involvement with development of the plan, active engagement in plan implementation, and proven progress with achieving the community’s stated vision or goals. Incentives for local governments with this designation include the ability to apply for CDBG on an annual basis, bonus points on several DCA programs, and hands-on assistance from DCA staff to help implement community work and program activities.

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Funding

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Incentives

Partnerships

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Technical Assistance

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Safe & Affordable Housing

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Community HOME Investment Program (CHIP) grants funds to city and county governments, public housing authorities, and nonprofits to rehabilitate owneroccupied homes and build and renovate affordable single-family homes for sale to eligible homebuyers. CHIP is funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME Investment Partnership Program funds. Funding is prioritized for communities with solid housing redevelopment plans.

The Continuum of Care (CoC) Program is designed to promote communitywide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness and help move homeless individuals and families into permanent housing. The CoC distributes funds to organizations that provide services to homeless persons and promotes access to and utilization of mainstream programs, and optimizes self-sufficiency among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

Community HOME Investment Program (CHIP)

Georgia Balance of State Continuum of Care Program

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Georgia Dream Homeownership Program

Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) The Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) provides funding throughout the state for outreach, shelter, rapid re-housing, homelessness prevention and related services to organizations who serve persons either experiencing or are in danger of becoming homeless. Grants are distributed by DCA from funds appropriated by HUD to provide the first step in a continuum of assistance for individuals experiencing homelessness. This aid also provides support to equip individuals experiencing homelessness to move toward independent living.

Funding

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Incentives

Partnerships

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The Georgia Dream program was created to make homeownership possible for eligible low and moderate-income Georgians by providing affordable financing options, down payment assistance, and homebuyer education. The Georgia Department of Community Affairs acts as the secondary market for lenders who want to provide an affordable mortgage product. Potential homebuyers apply with participating lenders for Georgia Dream loans.

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Home Access Program

This program is designed to promote independence and allow persons with disabilities to reside in their homes with the appropriate home modifications and to avoid unnecessary entry into nursing homes. The program allows grant awards of up to $10,000 to improve the accessibility of an owner-occupied home in which an individual with disability resides.

Technical Assistance

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Safe & Affordable Housing

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Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) This is the information system designated by the Continuum of Care to comply with HUD’s data collection, management, and reporting standards and used to collect client-level data and data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and persons at risk of homelessness. The Georgia HMIS is intended to provide a community with an unduplicated count of its homeless population. This technological solution is used to collect data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and those at risk of homelessness.

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Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) is a federally funded HUD program that offers a variety of housing solutions and support services for lowincome persons living with HIV/AIDS. HOPWA is an ongoing initiative to grant states and localities resources and incentives to develop long-term comprehensive housing. These areas coordinate the use of HOPWA funds with their respective Consolidated Plans which establishes a unified vision for community development actions.

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Funding

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Housing Tax Credit Program

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Tax Credit) is a federal tax credit created by President Reagan and Congress in the Tax Reform Act of 1986 designed to encourage private sector investment in the new construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of rental housing affordable to low-income households. Over the last three decades, the Housing Credit has become the most successful affordable rental housing production program in history.

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HUD 811 Project Rental Assistance (PRA) HUD 811 PRA is a federally funded program that provides long-term project-based rental assistance to persons with disabilities who may be struggling to successfully integrate into their community. This program provides a set of subsidized rental units at designated apartment complexes as a permanent supportive housing program. Support includes the provision of reminders to pay rent and other bills, helping arrange medical appointments, and other related services.

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National Housing Trust Fund

(HTF) HTF is a federal formula grant program administered by states which is intended to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe, sanitary, and affordable housing. The HTF statute requires that at least 75% of the funds for rental housing benefit extremely low income (ELI) households whose incomes are less than the federal poverty guideline or less than 30% of the area median income (AMI). Incentives

Partnerships

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Technical Assistance

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Safe & Affordable Housing

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GHFA Permanent Supportive Housing Program (PSH)

Reentry Partnership Housing Program (RPH) The Reentry Partnership Housing (RPH) Program helps provide housing to qualified individuals under parole or probation supervision of the Georgia Department of Community Supervision (DCS) who do not have valid residence plans. These individuals may be released from prison or jail or are active participants in an Accountability Court (felony drug, mental health, veterans, or family). Certified RPH providers provide stable housing and food access to these individuals. The goal of the RPH Program is to provide short-term housing for up to 6 months of assistance to help stabilize an individual’s reentry process and enhance his or her ability to remain crime-free.

Formerly known as Shelter Plus Care, this program provides permanent housing in connection with supportive services to persons who have a disability and are experiencing homelessness. The program provides rental assistance funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) accompanied by a range of supportive services funded by other sources. GHFA PSH is designed to serve a population that has been traditionally hard to reach and built on the best practice that housing and services should be connected in order to ensure stability for this population.

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Housing Choice Voucher Program (HCV) The Housing Choice Voucher Program (formerly known as Section 8) is a tenantbased rental assistance program that assists extremely low- and low-income individuals and families rent safe, decent, and affordable housing units in the private rental market. DCA provides the subsidy payment directly to the landlord on behalf of the program participant. The amount of the subsidy is based primarily upon the participant’s income.

Funding

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Incentives

Partnerships

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Technical Assistance

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Community & Economic Development

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African American Programs

National Register of Historic The African American Programs Coordinator Places (NRHP) and the Georgia African American Historic Preservation Network’s (GAAHPN) Steering Committee plan and implement historic preservation projects that foster economic development and community revitalization.

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Archaeology and Tribal Relations Archaeologists coordinate research and preservation efforts with federally recognized Native American tribes that were formerly resident in Georgia under the auspices of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 as amended.

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Certified Local Governments (CLG) The CLG program is a partnership between the National Park Service (NPS), HPD, and local jurisdictions that integrates historic preservation into local planning decisions. Enhancing the local government’s role in preservation, the CLG program connects local communities to subject-matter experts.

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Environmental Review

Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and federal agencies are required to consult with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) when considering an undertaking (project).

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Funding

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NRHP is the official list of the nation’s buildings, districts, landscapes, objects, and archaeological sites worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s NRHP is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.

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Preservation Planning

The Historic Preservation Planning program provides an opportunity for citizens’ voices to be heard regarding the preservation of the state’s historic assets. Additionally, the program ensures that those assets are included in planning activities throughout the state.

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Rehabilitation Tax Incentives

DCA offers financial assistance through three historic preservation tax incentive programs. The Federal Tax Incentive Program is available to income-producing properties. The Georgia Preferential Property Tax Abatement and State Income Tax Credit are available to both private residential properties as well as incomeproducing properties.

Incentives

Partnerships

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Technical Assistance

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Community & Economic Development

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Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

This federally funded block grant program focuses on benefiting low- to moderate-income people by providing resources for livable neighborhoods, economic empowerment, and decent housing. DCA administers the state CDBG program which includes the balance of the state not included in areas, which covers primarily urban cities and counties.

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CDBG – Disaster Recovery Program: Federal funding to address extensive damage caused by federally declared natural disasters. The funding is available to 15 eligible counties.

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Employment Incentive Program: Financing program may be used in conjunction with traditional private financing for economic development projects.

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Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)

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Redevelopment Fund: Provides flexible financial assistance including grants and loans to local governments to assist in implementing challenging economic and community development projects.

Bond Allocation Program

Pursuant to state and federal law, DCA administers the “Georgia Allocation System” ARC is a regional economic development for local and state government issuing agency that represents a partnership of authorities seeking to issue private activity federal, state, and local governments. tax exempt bonds. Georgia is authorized to Established by an act of Congress in 1965, use up to $110 per capita a year for projects ARC is composed of the governors of the 13 Appalachian states and a federal co-chair, who ranging from the traditional industrial development bond (IDB) for manufacturing is appointed by the president. ARC provides concerns and mortgage revenue bonds financial investment and technical assistance to eligible applicants in support of community (MRB) for single family mortgages to bonds for multi-family housing development and and economic development in Georgia’s exempt facility bonds. 37-county Appalachian region.

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Incentives

Partnerships

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Technical Assistance

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Community & Economic Development

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Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DDRLF) This program assists cities, counties and development authorities in their efforts to revitalize and enhance downtown areas by providing below-market rate “gap” financing to fund capital projects in the core historic downtown area and the adjacent historic neighborhoods where the funds will spur commercial redevelopment.

Enterprise Zones

This program intends to improve geographic areas within cities and counties that are suffering from disinvestment, underdevelopment, and economic decline, encouraging private businesses to reinvest and rehabilitate such areas.

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Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative (GBDI) The purpose of the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative is to coordinate and establish broadband programs to increase economic, education, and social opportunities for Georgia citizens and businesses. The initiative provides for the expansion of broadband infrastructure and services through new state and local broadband planning policies, technical assistance, Broadband Ready Certifications, and support of public-private investments in rural Georgia.

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Funding

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Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism/AmeriCorps (GCSV) GCSV promotes humanitarian efforts in the state through AmeriCorps national service grants, community volunteer recognition, and support of local volunteer organizations and efforts. GCSV engages Georgians in service to meet critical needs in education, economic opportunity, public safety, health, disaster services, environmental stewardship and veterans and military families.

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Georgia Main Street

The Georgia Main Street Program began in 1980 as one of the original pilot state coordinating programs of the National Main Street Initiative launched by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Georgia Main Streets represent some of the strongest central business districts in the state and in the Southeast. Main Street is a signature program for community development and revitalization in Georgia’s historic downtowns.

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Geospatial Information Office (GIO) Coordinates and partners with local governments and state and federal agencies to ensure the quality and availability of geospatial data to support community and economic development, transportation planning, emergency preparedness, and environmental protection.

Incentives

Partnerships

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Technical Assistance

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Helping to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities

Community & Economic Development

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Regional Economic Business Assistance (REBA)

Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation (KGBF) KGBF educates and inspires Georgians to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environments. As a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, it leads more than 70 city and county programs across the state, engaging additional residents through events and outreach.

Job Tax Credits

Provides for a statewide job tax credit for any business or headquarters of businesses engaged in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, processing, telecommunications, tourism, or research and development industries, but does not include retail businesses.

Military Zones

OneGeorgia provides grants and loans typically for land acquisition and infrastructure development, machinery purchases, business relocation assistance, and other economic development capacitybuilding and job-creation projects.

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Incentives

Partnerships

State Opportunity Zones

This designation provides a state tax credit to target impoverished areas that are in decline, suffering from disinvestment, and/or are in need of redevelopment and revitalization.

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State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)

OneGeorgia Authority

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Rural Zones

This program is part of the state’s Job Tax Program and targets rural downtown areas, that have been adversely impacted by local economic conditions, by creating Rural Zones and offering incentives to stimulate investment, job creation, and economic development. It also adds in retail opportunities, which are currently excluded from job tax credits.

The military zone designation allows census tracts which are located adjacent to a military base and have pervasive poverty of at least a 15% poverty rate to receive the highest benefit level allowed under the Job Tax Credit Program. It also provides for the credit to be available to any business of any nature, as long as all other program requirements are met.

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This state-funded incentive program enhances Georgia’s competitiveness in attracting sizable 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.

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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.

Technical Assistance

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Leadership Team Christopher Nunn Commissioner Christopher.Nunn@dca.ga.gov David Whisnant Chief Operating Officer David.Whisnant@dca.ga.gov Tonya Cureton Curry Deputy Commissioner, Housing Tonya.Curry@dca.ga.gov Rusty Haygood Deputy Commissioner, Community Development & Finance Rusty.Haygood@dca.ga.gov Corinne Thornton Director, Regional Services Corinne.Thornton@dca.ga.gov Seth Coker Director, Government & External Relations Seth.Coker@dca.ga.gov Adrion Bell Director, Communications Adrion.Bell@dca.ga.gov

60 Executive Park South NE Atlanta, GA 30329 (404) 679-4840 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.