Smyrna has been selected with four other cities for the 2018 class of the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) to create a housing master plan for the city. Courtesy of GICH

Smyrna Community Housing Team accepted into state program

The city of Smyrna Community Housing Team has been selected to participate in the 2018 class of the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) program.

GICH is a partnership program among the University of Georgia, Georgia Department of Community Affairs and Georgia Municipal Association, according to a city statement.

Through the development of locally driven housing and revitalization strategies, GICH helps communities improve their quality of life and economic vitality.

These goals are achieved through technical assistance, collaboration, expert presenters, training, facilitation, consensus building, networking and mentoring.

Over the next three years, the Smyrna Community Housing Team will receive technical assistance from subject matter experts with the goal of creating a housing master plan.

The city’s team will attend retreats twice a year - the first one being in February - with other participating GICH communities that include Arlington, Centerville, Conyers and Social Circle.

These city representatives will learn about best practices in housing, share new ideas and develop housing goals to fit their needs.

By the end of the program, the city’s team will have begun implementing their housing goals and objectives.

Formed last fall, the city’s team was not selected for GICH until October.

Since its formation, the city’s team has met anyway several times and learned about topics, including land bank authorities, homelessness, evictions and low-income housing tax credits.

Information about the GICH program:

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