Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH)
The City of Perry was recently named one of five new communities from around the state to participate in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH). A competitive process, Perry was identified statewide as a community with both willing partners and a demonstrated desire for collaboration to address longstanding housing needs in our community.
A three-year technical assistance program offered by 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; Perry will benefit from this process by learning about programs, policies and incentives other communities have implemented to address challenges related to housing, code enforcement, neighborhood redevelopment, and blight.
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 retreats, 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.
GICH is funded statewide 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.
Perry was selected to participate in the 2014 incoming Freshman class, along with the Cities of Albany, Douglasville, Porterdale and Rincon.
Among those early issues identified by Perry’s housing team are:
• Substandard housing conditions
• Dilapidated structures
• Areas of high crime
• High percentage of renter-occupied housing
• Lack of available, affordable housing stock and workforce housing
• Limited options for Emergency and Transitional Housing
• Few options for downtown residential living