Rural housing initiative applications available soon

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May 8—ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has announced that the newly established Rural Workforce Housing Initiative would soon begin taking applications.

The initiative, announced in Gov. Brian Kemp's State of the State address in January 2023, is meant to spur the development of critically needed work force housing across the state. The Georgia General Assembly approved $35.7 million to start the initiative in the Amended Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations bill that was signed into law in March 2023.

Georgia faces the same housing shortage that affects communities across the nation. As the state continues to attract new investment and its work force grows, there is increased pressure on Georgia's housing inventory, especially in rural communities. The Rural Workforce Housing Initiative is a step to address this shortage by incentivizing housing development.

"Georgia has been blessed to experience incredible growth in recent years, with record jobs and investment coming to communities across our state," Gov. Brian Kemp said. "This has led to increased need for workforce housing to meet the needs of employees in rural communities. This program is an important step toward meeting that need and ensuring workers are able to live in the communities where they work. I look forward to remaining engaged with our local partners on this issue in the coming months and years."

"This innovative, new initiative helps to address an imprtant aspect of building strong, vibrant communities — housing that is affordable," DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn said.

The Rural Workforce Housing Initiative is a component of the OneGeorgia Authority. Successful grantees will be expected to demonstrate transformational change in work force housing and must meet OneGeorgia Authority eligibility requirements. Successful applications will demonstrate collaboration between local governments and real estate developers.

The preliminary Notice of Funding Availability can be accessed through the OneGeorgia Authority website. The deadline for the first round of awards will be July 14 for awards to be made in September 2023.