Sustainable Housing & Community Development Principles
While Georgia’s economy has struggled since the Great Recession, the unemployment rate is improving, construction is on the upswing, and the State’s fiscal condition seems headed in the right direction. Despite these encouraging signs, as is true nationally, the middle class is shrinking and income inequality is a growing concern. Significant portions of the population remain at or below the poverty level and benefits have not accompanied a large number of newly created jobs. In addition, the traditional development patterns of unrestricted growth have caused severe transportation and environmental issues in our urban areas, and uneven or stagnant growth in our rural communities. We believe that federal, state, local government, private sector and not-for-profit housing and community development organizations of Georgia must address the state’s economic and housing deficiencies and work towards a safe, affordable home in a suitable living environment for all its families. The members of Georgia Advancing Communities Together (GA ACT) set forth the following principles to guide responsible housing and community development.
1.Tthere is a continuum of housing needs (homeownership, rental, transitional, and homeless) and that development of affordable housing and underserved neighborhoods should be an integral aspect of Georgia’s response to regional and environmental challenges.
2. Equal access to housing and communities of choice, including physical access, remains an issue, we therefore support policies that remedy past and present discriminatory practices and promote visitability for housing newly constructed or rehabilitated.
3. Cooperation and coordination of public, private and non-profit sectors are necessary to ensure the development and preservation of affordable housing and healthy communities as well as financial inclusion for all families.
4. State and local governments have a responsibility to provide policies, practices and financing that address the housing and community development needs of all of their citizens.
5. The role of community-based organizations (CBOs) is critical to affordable housing and community development.
6. The development and redevelopment of mixed-income neighborhoods is essential to creating sustainable communities that benefit all residents.
7. The effective implementation of new and existing financing mechanisms will enable and expand community development and the production of affordable housing, closing the “affordability gap” for all Georgia families.
8. Appropriate housing and financial counseling for low- and moderate- income individuals and communities hold the key to achieving self-sufficiency.
In signing onto these principles we agree to research, identify, and develop public policy that reinforces these principles and fulfill our mandate of a safe, affordable home in a suitable living environment for all of Georgia's residents.