Fall Conference sessions designed to engage, inform

The agenda is in place for this year’s Fall Conference! Attendees will be able to gain knowledge from subject-matter experts on a variety of topics such as Broadband, zones, homelessness and the 2020 Census.

Registration is open for our 3rd annual event set to take place at Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange. Planners, developers, county commissioners and state officials will be under one roof with the common purpose of enhancing communities for all Georgians.

 

 

 

*CONFERENCE AGENDA

Tuesday, October 15

Conference Check-In: 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Tuesday, October 15: 1 PM SESSIONS

Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative:  Bringing Unserved Georgians Into the 21st Century with High Speed Internet

  • Presenters: Deana Perry (DCA) and Brittney Hickom (DCA)
  • Broadband has become essential to business, education, healthcare, agriculture, and overall quality of life. Unfortunately, Georgians in many rural communities do not have high-speed access to the internet. The Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative (GBDI) Team will explore the importance of access, status of the State Wide Mapping effort, and benefits of the Broadband Ready Designations. 

DCA Resources for Housing Development

  • Presenters: Samanta Carvalho (DCA), Ryan Fleming (DCA)
  • DCA staff will provide an overview of tax credits, bonds, and federal grant funds available through DCA for single-family, multi-family, and senior affordable housing developments and explain what communities can do to position themselves to attract affordable housing developments.

Preparing Your Community for Short-Term Rentals/VRBO

  • Presenters: Tyler Reinagel (DCA) and Jackson Lilly (DCA)
  • Air BnB, VRBO and other short-term rental opportunities have emerged across the state which enable homeowners to rent their property to visitors. This has caused concern for some communities due to zoning compliance, excise tax collection, and general resistance from existing residents. DCA staff will discuss steps your community can take now to ensure that your “sense of place” can be maintained, while making sure your community is fully prepared to reap the benefits of visitors to your city or county.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MOBILE TOUR: KIA Motors Manufacturing Tour

  • The location of KIA motors to west Georgia was a game-changing event for the communities in the area. Participants in the tour will have the opportunity to hear the KIA story, the impact that it has made in the region, and how the state was able to partner with the region’s communities to create thousands of jobs. This tour is limited to 25 attendees; interested attendees should email Alyssa.Justice@dca.ga.gov to register to participate. All attendees must wear flat, close-toed shoes.

 

Tuesday, October 15: 2:15 PM SESSIONS

Homelessness in Georgia: Issues & Solutions

  • Presenters: David Whisnant (DCA), John Shereikis (DCA) and Michael Thomas (DCA)
  • This session is designed to inform and educate on initiatives undertaken at DCA’s Office of Homeless and Special Needs Housing. Participants will gain an understanding of resources (both federal and state) utilized at DCA to combat homelessness, the overall need for services across Georgia, and ways for communities to participate in solving this problem. Best practices and effective strategies to end homelessness will be detailed. Additionally, examples will be provided as to how different communities address these issues, along with a firm understanding of the root causes of homelessness and the makeup of the homeless population in Georgia.

Census 2020:  Counting All of Georgia

  • Presenters: Rusty Haygood (DCA), Anna Wrigley Miller (Governor’s Office of Planning & Budget)
  • Census 2020 is rapidly approaching.  Why is the count important? It’s about power and money. The census directly impacts the number of congressional districts and their boundaries are also impacted – as well as state senate, state house, as well as some county commission, city council and school board districts. Did you also know that each person in Georgia represents over $2,300 in federal funding each year? This session will provide communities with information, tips and strategies that will help them ensure the most complete count possible.

Zones, Zones & More Zones

  • Presenters: Cherie Bennett (DCA)
  • Numerous tools exist to help Georgia communities with redevelopment efforts, many times in the form of designated zones that offer benefits to individuals and businesses facilitating the redevelopment. At the heart of the matter, communities that understand the resources and develop a plan to fully utilize the tools are more apt to see community transformation. DCA staff will explain the benefits and differences between Rural Zones, state Opportunity Zones Federal Opportunity Zones and Enterprise Zones that local leaders can develop and implement community development plans around.

Tuesday, October 15: 3:30 PM SESSIONS

Access to Capital in Rural Georgia

  • Presenters: John Kingery (DCA), Holly Hunt (DCA)
  • During the 2018 legislative session, DCA was tasked with implementing the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act (GARJA) which provided access to $100 million in capital for businesses in Georgia counties with less than 50,000 population.  Through an application process, five companies were selected to participate in the program and each firm must deploy $20 million in loans or equity investments to rural parts of Georgia by summer 2020.  DCA staff will discuss the GARJA program, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DDRLF), and the DDRLF’s companion program, the Georgia Cities Foundation, microlending, and CDFI’s.

Regional Solutions to Local Challenges

  • Presenters: Tyler Reinagel
  • Local authorities play a critical role in building and maintaining core services in communities across Georgia – Economic Development, Airport, Housing, Hospital, and Water-Sewer Authorities, just to name a few. Increasingly, communities across the state have started to take advantage of “strength in numbers” and participate in multi-jurisdictional authorities to serve many of these vital functions in more efficient and effective ways to their citizens. DCA staff will look at the growth of multi-jurisdictional local authorities in the state and share examples of successful projects undertaken by these authorities.

Housing Tax Credit 101

  • Presenters: Jill Cromartie (DCA) and Merranda James (DCA)
  • Housing Tax Credits are the nation’s largest funding mechanism for affordable housing. Learn the basics of Housing Tax Credits, including how they are allocated from the IRS, how they are awarded to developers by DCA, and the commitments each developer must make to the IRS, DCA and the residents of Georgia. This session will show a mock-up of a deal and show what can a municipality do to attract and support affordable housing developments.
     

5:30 PM: Welcome Reception

Dinner On Your Own

 

Wednesday, October 16

Conference Check-In: 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM

Dinner Ticket Pick-Up: 4:30-6:30 PM

 

7:45 AM: Breakfast

Wednesday, October 16: 8:45 AM SESSIONS

Successfully Implementing Comprehensive Plans

  • Presenters: Ebony Simpson (DCA)
  • Community leaders do – or at least should – plan continuously as it is the foundation for all communities’ successes. Effective elected leaders continually weigh the current status of the community against where they want to – or need to – go.  Communities with effective leaders are continually planning and implementing those plans.  Hear examples of communities who, through effective leadership, have used plans to advance their collective goals.  

Homelessness in Georgia: Issues & Solutions

  • Presenters: David Whisnant (DCA), John Shereikis (DCA) and Michael Thomas (DCA)
  • This session is designed to inform and educate on initiatives undertaken at DCA’s Office of Homeless and Special Needs Housing. Participants will gain an understanding of resources (both federal and state) utilized at DCA to combat homelessness, the overall need for services across Georgia, and ways for communities to participate in solving this problem. Best practices and effective strategies to end homelessness will be detailed. Additionally, examples will be provided as to how different communities address these issues, along with a firm understanding of the root causes of homelessness and the makeup of the homeless population in Georgia.

Homeownership: The Georgia Dream

  • Presenter: Brenda McGee (DCA) & Tracey Turman (DCA)
  • Georgia Dream is DCA’s homeownership program that offers low-interest mortgage loans and down-payment assistance to families across the state. Learn more about this program and how supporting first-time homebuyers can strengthen your community. This session will also cover how you can strategically promote Georgia Dream with residents, lenders, and other organizations in your community.

Appropriate Use of Hotel-Motel Tax Revenues to Support Community Activities

  • Presenters: Tyler Reinagel (DCA) and Jessica Reynolds (DCA)
  • Communities across the state receive tax revenues generated from travelers staying in local hotels and motels. Many times it is unclear to local governments exactly what their restricted funds can be used for. DCA staff will provide specific examples of appropriate uses of hotel-motel tax receipts that have helped enhance the local community.

MOBILE TOUR: Tiny Houses

  • New, creative housing options are becoming more popular as the market seeks to meet the demands of various appetites for housing. Tiny houses are one of the new opportunities.  DCA staff and industry representatives will talk about opportunities for housing options such as tiny houses, challenges that communities have had to overcome to accommodate tiny houses, and ways tiny houses can be successfully utilized within a community. A Tiny House will be on-site for participants to tour.

 

Wednesday, October 16: 10 AM SESSIONS

Housing Tax Credit 101

  • Presenters: Jill Cromartie (DCA) and Merranda James (DCA)
  • Housing Tax Credits are the nation’s largest funding mechanism for affordable housing. Learn the basics of Housing Tax Credits, including how they are allocated from the IRS, how they are awarded to developers by DCA, and the commitments each developer must make to the IRS, DCA and the residents of Georgia. This session will show a mock-up of a deal and show what can a municipality do to attract and support affordable housing developments.

Zones, Zones & More Zones

  • Presenters: Cherie Bennett (DCA)
  • Numerous tools exist to help Georgia communities with redevelopment efforts, many times in the form of designated zones that offer benefits to individuals and businesses facilitating the redevelopment. At the heart of the matter, communities that understand the resources and develop a plan to fully utilize the tools are more apt to see community transformation. DCA staff will explain the benefits and differences between Rural Zones, state Opportunity Zones Federal Opportunity Zones and Enterprise Zones that local leaders can develop and implement community development plans around.

Recovering from Natural Disasters

  • Presenters: Tommy Lowmon (DCA), Linda Thompson (DCA), and TBD
  • In recent years, Georgia has been hit with multiple large-scale natural disasters. It is critically important that community leaders understand what they should do to prepare for disasters and how to be ready to respond. This session will provide communities with tips for local leadership to ensure that they are ready to respond to the disaster, what should be done now, what steps should begin to be taken in the hours immediately following the disaster, and what resources may be available to assist with the response.

RAD/Best Practices of Successful Public Housing Authorities (Part I)

  • Presenters: Marshall Aiken (DCA), Denise Farrior (DCA), outside Housing Authority
  • What is RAD? What does it mean for Housing Authorities?

 

Wednesday, October 16: 11:15 AM SESSIONS

Regional Solutions to Local Challenges

  • Presenters: Tyler Reinagel
  • Local authorities play a critical role in building and maintaining core services in communities across Georgia – Economic Development, Airport, Housing, Hospital, and Water-Sewer Authorities, just to name a few. Increasingly, communities across the state have started to take advantage of “strength in numbers” and participate in multi-jurisdictional authorities to serve many of these vital functions in more efficient and effective ways to their citizens. DCA staff will look at the growth of multi-jurisdictional local authorities in the state and share examples of successful projects undertaken by these authorities.

Blight

  • Presenter: Natalie Johnston-Russell (Keep Georgia Beautiful) 
  • Stay tuned, session description coming soon!

RAD/Best Practices of Successful Public Housing Authorities (Part II)

  • Presenters: Marshall Aiken (DCA), Denise Farrior (DCA), outside Housing Authority
  • As the landscape for Public Housing Authorities continues to change, learn how some housing authorities are going beyond housing to build communities.

CDBG – Listening Session on Method of Distribution Changes

  • Presenters: Joanie Perry (DCA); Kimberly Carter (DCA) and Rusty Haygood (DCA)
  • The Community Development Block Group (CDBG) Program is intended to provide resources to communities to complete community development activities to primarily benefit low-to-moderate income persons. To achieve these goals to the greatest extent possible, continued evaluation of the program and its priorities are required. DCA will hold a listening session to hear from communities how the Method of Distribution can be enhanced for FFY 2020.

5:30 PM: Welcome Reception

Dinner On Your Own

Wednesday, October 16: 1:30 PM SESSIONS

GICH Success: Community-Driven Housing Planning Program Gets Results

  • Presenter: Kristyn Cherry (DCA)
  • The Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) is a three-year program that fosters the collaboration and education needed for local communities to develop housing plans unique to their community. During this session, you will learn more about the ins and outs of this program, how communities can apply for participation and why communities around the state have been so successful in achieving their housing goals through GICH.

Preparing Your Community for Short-Term Rentals/VRBO

  • Presenters: Tyler Reinagel (DCA) and Jackson Lilly (DCA)
  • Air BnB, VRBO and other short-term rental opportunities have emerged across the state which enable homeowners to rent their property to visitors. This has caused concern for some communities due to zoning compliance, excise tax collection, and general resistance from existing residents. DCA staff will discuss steps your community can take now to ensure that your “sense of place” can be maintained, while making sure your community is fully prepared to reap the benefits of visitors to your city or county.

Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative: Bringing Unserved Georgians Into the 21st Century with High Speed Internet

  • Presenters: Deana Perry (DCA) and Brittney Hickom (DCA)
  • Broadband has become essential to business, education, healthcare, agriculture, and overall quality of life. Unfortunately, Georgians in many rural communities do not have high-speed access to the internet. The Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative (GBDI) Team will explore the importance of access, status of the State Wide Mapping effort, and benefits of the Broadband Ready Designations. 

CDBG Recipients– Grant Overview

  • Presenters: Joanie Perry (DCA) and Kimberly Carter (DCA)
  • The Community Development Block Group (CDBG) Program funds local community development activities such as affordable housing, infrastructure improvement, and other public facilities. This session will provide an overview of the CDBG program and highlight transformational projects which support the goals and ideals of local communities. 

HOUSING MOBILE TOUR:  

  • Session details coming soon. This tour is limited to 25 attendees; interested attendees should email Alyssa.Justice@dca.ga.gov to register to participate.  

Wednesday, October 16: 2:45 PM SESSIONS

Leveraging Service & Volunteerism to Benefit Your Community

  • Presenters: Linda Thompson (DCA) and TBD
  • Service and volunteerism are two foundational tenets of the AmeriCorps program which is administered by DCA. Through the program, governments and non-profit entities utilize the work of AmeriCorps members to help address issues negatively impacting the community. From implementing programming that provides tutoring for struggling students, assists special needs youth, or offers opportunities for youth with court orders (and many other areas), the AmeriCorps program can help find solutions for your community’s troubling issues. DCA staff will introduce the AmeriCorps program and will allow attendees to hear from one successful AmeriCorps program and how they impact the area in which they serve.

DCA Resources for Housing Development

  • Presenters: Samanta Carvalho (DCA), Ryan Fleming (DCA)
  • DCA staff will provide an overview of tax credits, bonds, and federal grant funds available through DCA for single-family, multi-family, and senior affordable housing developments and explain what communities can do to position themselves to attract affordable housing developments.

Access to Capital in Rural Georgia

  • Presenters: John Kingery (DCA), Holly Hunt (DCA)
  • During the 2018 legislative session, DCA was tasked with implementing the Georgia Agribusiness and Rural Jobs Act (GARJA) which provided access to $100 million in capital for businesses in Georgia counties with less than 50,000 population. Through an application process, five companies were selected to participate in the program and each firm must deploy $20 million in loans or equity investments to rural parts of Georgia by summer 2020. DCA staff will discuss the GARJA program, the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DDRLF), and the DDRLF’s companion program, the Georgia Cities Foundation, microlending, and CDFI’s.

CDBG Recipients – Next Steps (for Local Governments and Grant Administrators)

  • Presenters: Cindy Alligood
  • Members of the CDBG team will discuss the importance of the many local players needed to make a CDBG project run in a timely manner and for maximum impact. The checklist for the initial start-up site visit will also be reviewed, so communities can prepare for the first steps required to kick off a successful CDBG project. [Not mandatory.]
     

Wednesday, October 16: 4 PM SESSION

Elected Official Roundtable

  • Commissioner Christopher Nunn (DCA)
  • DCA’s mission is to help build strong, vibrant communities within the state of Georgia. As part of that charge, DCA seeks to be a partner with communities as they address issues of the present, while shaping the future. To help communities with issues affecting them, Commissioner Nunn will provide the opportunity to discuss topics of interest or answer questions that local elected officials have.

5:30 PM: Reception & Red Carpet Photos for Community Designations

6:30 PM: Awards Dinner

 

Thursday, October 17

Conference Check-In: 7:30 AM to 12:30 PM

7:45 AM: Breakfast

Thursday, October 17: 8:45 AM SESSIONS

GICH Success: Community-Driven Housing Planning Program Gets Results

  • Presenter: Kristyn Cherry (DCA)
  • The Georgia Initiative for Community Housing (GICH) is a three-year program that fosters the collaboration and education needed for local communities to develop housing plans unique to their community. During this session, you will learn more about the ins and outs of this program, how communities can apply for participation and why communities around the state have been so successful in achieving their housing goals through GICH.

Appropriate Use of Hotel-Motel Tax Revenues to Support Community Activities

  • Presenters: Tyler Reinagel (DCA) and Jessica Reynolds (DCA)
  • Communities across the state receive tax revenues generated from travelers staying in local hotels and motels. Many times it is unclear to local governments exactly what their restricted funds can be used for. DCA staff will provide specific examples of appropriate uses of hotel-motel tax receipts that have helped enhance the local community.

Fair Housing Obligations for Local Governments

  • Presenter: Christy Barnes (DCA) & Roberto Morales-Roman (DCA)
  • So you’ve had Fair Housing training, developed a Language Access Plan and a fair housing marketing plan … now what? Attend this session led by DCA’s Fair Housing Coordinator to learn how to best prepare for the continued monitoring of your fair housing activities related to your grant/award. As an added bonus, attendees will learn how the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity (GCEO) is a readily available resource to local governments for the fair housing concerns of its citizens. Don’t risk a finding of non-compliance on your grant/award due to inadequate fair housing-related operations and records.

Census 2020:  Counting All of Georgia

  • Presenters: Rusty Haygood (DCA), Anna Wrigley Miller (Governor’s Office of Planning & Budget)
  • Census 2020 is rapidly approaching.  Why is the count important?  It’s about power and money. The census directly impacts the number of congressional districts and their boundaries are also impacted – as well as state senate, state house, as well as some county commission, city council and school board districts. Did you also know that each person in Georgia represents over $2,300 in federal funding each year? This session will provide communities with information, tips and strategies that will help them ensure the most complete count possible.

Thursday, October 17: 10 AM SESSIONS

Implementing Local Comprehensive Plans

  • Presenters: Ebony Simpson (DCA)
  • Community leaders do – or at least should – plan continuously as it is the foundation for all communities’ successes. Effective elected leaders continually weigh the current status of the community against where they want to – or need to – go.  Communities with effective leaders are continually planning and implementing those plans.  Hear examples of communities who, through effective leadership, have used plans to advance their collective goals.  

Homeownership: The Georgia Dream

  • Presenter: Brenda McGee (DCA)
  • Georgia Dream is DCA’s homeownership program that offers low-interest mortgage loans and down-payment assistance to families across the state. Learn more about this program and how supporting first-time homebuyers can strengthen your community. This session will also cover how you can strategically promote Georgia Dream with residents, lenders, and other organizations in your community.

CDBG Recipients– Grant Administration (for Grant Administrators)

  • Presenters: Cindi Bernhardt (DCA) and Pam Truitt (DCA)
  • The session will review the basics of the award package, financial management, timely implementation, and reporting. DCA staff will discuss specific elements, talk about issues that have been problematic for grant recipients in recent award cycles, and offer best practices to enhance the ability of communities to successfully complete CDBG-funded projects.

CDBG Recipients – Grant Administration (Mandatory for Local Governments)

  • Presenters: Kimberly Carter (DCA) and Brent Allen (DCA)
  • Receiving a CDBG award is great for a community, but it comes with requirements that the recipient must follow. Most communities hire a grant administrator to help them through the process. But, the local government needs to be aware of what will be asked of them, when it will be asked, and why it will be asked. DCA staff will provide information to help the community better understand these requirements associated with the use of federal funds.
     

Thursday, October 17: 11:15 AM SESSIONS

Downtown & Multi-Use Housing

  • Presenters: Katherine Moore (Georgia Conservancy), Jessica Reynolds (DCA) and Samanta Carvalho (DCA)
  • This session will focus on how local governments can effectively and efficiently participate in developing downtown housing. This session will provide examples of best practices for cities of all sizes, and facilitate discussions about augmenting the development process on a municipal level. This session is designed to provide participants with examples of effective planning and zoning practices to maximize downtown development potential and housing opportunities. 

Recovering from Natural Disasters

  • Presenters: Tommy Lowmon (DCA), Linda Thompson (DCA), and TBD
  • In recent years, Georgia has been hit with multiple large-scale natural disasters. It is critically important that community leaders understand what they should do to prepare for disasters and how to be ready to respond. This session will provide communities with tips for local leadership to ensure that they are ready to respond to the disaster, what should be done now, what steps should begin to be taken in the hours immediately following the disaster, and what resources may be available to assist with the response.

CDBG Recipients – Compliance Requirements (for Grant Administrators Part I)

  • Presenters: Kathleen Vaughn (DCA)
  • Key components of the CDBG Program include following proper procurement protocols, Davis Bacon requirements, and NEPA Environmental Review Procedures. Successfully navigating these elements will help ensure your project meets Federal laws and regulations.

CDBG Recipients – Compliance Requirements (Mandatory for Local Governments)

  • Presenters: Kimberly Carter (DCA) and Brent Allen (DCA)
  • The compliance requirements that come with receiving a CDBG award are often not known to local government staff members overseeing the project. DCA staff will seek to simplify the compliance elements, provide a general chronology with the compliance elements, and share why these requirements exist in this session which is required for CDBG grant recipients.
     

12:15 pm: Lunch on Your Own

Thursday, October 17: 1:30 PM SESSION

CDBG Recipients – Compliance Requirements (for Grant Administrators Part II)

  • Presenters: Glenn Misner (DCA)
  • Additional Federal laws and regulations will be covered in this session. Meeting requirements of the Federal Uniform Act (pertaining to acquisition of properties with CDBG dollars) are critical to maintaining compliance with HUD requirements. A brief update on Section 3 requirements will also be provided.
     

Thursday, October 17: 2:45 PM SESSION

CDBG – Housing

  • Presenter: Glenn Misner (DCA) and Malisa Thompson (DCA)
  • Local government can play a major role in facilitating and developing affordable housing. Homeowner rehabilitation is one of the most common community development programs administered nationwide. This two-hour session will provide guidance on your housing program’s administration, including work specifications, amendment requests, and compliance monitoring.

*Conference Agenda is subject to change.