Georgia Initiative for Community Housing
In October 2017, Norcross was one of five communities in Georgia selected to improve and broaden its housing options through the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing. GICH is a public-private initiative that, through innovative housing solutions, helps communities all over the state grow their economies and enhance the quality of life of its residents.
Norcross and the other communities selected (Troup County/Hogansville/LaGrange/West Point and the cities of Byron, Cochran and McRae-Helena) are working on this initiative over three years, assisted by housing experts from the University of Georgia and the Department of Community Affairs. Norcross is the first city in Gwinnett County to be selected for this statewide housing program.
The Norcross GICH initiative is chaired by Lejla Prljaca, Executive Director of the Gwinnett Housing Corporation and Chris Moder, Economic Development Director for the City of Norcross. A team of 20 community partners and stakeholders from the public and private sectors has been working on this three-year initiative since spring 2018.
Sixty-six Georgia communities have benefited from the GICH program since it was created in 2005. Some of the resulting strategies undertaken by communities include revitalizing distressed neighborhoods and subdivisions; developing multi-family apartments through tax credits; updating codes and ordinances; creating a land bank authority to purchase and renovate distressed housing; writing an urban redevelopment plan; conducting a housing assessment; and launching community clean-up programs.
The “LiveNorcross: A Home to Imagine” Initiative captures the city’s efforts to make Norcross a more livable and affordable community for all its residents. Norcross aims to be a leader in metro Atlanta in enhancing the lives of all its residents through innovative housing solutions.
As housing prices continue to soar, many long-time residents are increasingly unable to afford renting or owning homes within the city limits. As a result, Norcross is experiencing a lot of transiency. Many residents have moved into our city only in the last five years, and many others are moving out as they are priced out of the market.
Housing instability is much bigger than just a housing problem. The lack of quality affordable housing affects our schools, our local businesses and our families. With the “Norcross: A Home to Imagine” Initiative, we aim to create quality rental and home ownership opportunities for families of all incomes so that we can create strong, stable and thriving communities.
Our mission is to create a more inclusive and prosperous Norcross by offering housing options for families of all income.
The following organizations are working with the City of Norcross on this initiative:
- ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions
- Gateway85 CID
- Latin American Chamber of Commerce
- RE/MAX Solutions
- Atlanta Regional Commission
- Renasant Bank
- Herron Property Group
- City of Norcross
- Norcross First United Methodist Church
- Gwinnett County Public Schools
- Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Windsor Realty
- Norcross Cooperative Ministry
- Latin American Association
- Gwinnett County
- City of Norcross Police Department
- Gwinnett Housing Corporation
- Access Realty Atlanta
- Lawrenceville Housing Authority
- Pedro Marin, Georgia House Representative
- UGA Extension
- Gwinnett Habitat for Humanity
As part of the “Norcross: A Home to Imagine” Initiative, we are looking at innovative housing solutions that include:
- Expanding home ownership opportunities to people who are currently renting, by increasing the supply of affordable housing stock and working individually with families who want to buy their first home
- Exploring ways to offer quality rental housing to families who are not able to buy a home so they don’t have to spend more than a third of their net income in housing costs
- Rehabilitating old houses by bringing new resources to neighborhoods where housing has fallen out of compliance with the local code or homes that simply need a facelift or touch-ups
- Getting a better understanding of the families who live in the city’s 14 extended-stay hotels, identifying the barriers they face to buying a home and assisting them in securing permanent housing