Gov. Kemp Announces First Grant Recipients of the Rural Workforce Housing Initiative

September 12, 2023

Governor Brian P. Kemp recently announced the first grant recipients of the Rural Workforce Housing Initiative, announced earlier this year in his State of the State address. This newly established program is a component of the OneGeorgia Authority and provides flexible funding for developing housing and related infrastructure in rural parts of the state.

"On the back of three straight record-breaking years for economic development, we are taking action to ensure hardworking Georgians are able to live in the same communities where they work," said Governor Brian Kemp. "These grants are the first step in meeting the needs of communities experiencing incredible growth as we continue to see new opportunities come to all corners of the state. I want to thank the members of the General Assembly who supported this initiative so that we can continue that upward trajectory."

The Rural Workforce Housing Initiative will spur the development of critically needed workforce housing in communities across the state. The Georgia General Assembly approved $35.7 million to start the initiative in the Amended Fiscal Year 2023 budget signed into law in March 2023. "In an effort to ensure Georgia’s growing workforce has quality and affordable housing options, the OneGeorgia Authority is pleased to support these local communities in attaining their housing goals," said Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Christopher Nunn. "We look forward to continuing to help communities that are pursuing deliberate workforce housing strategies."

The City of Albany will receive an infrastructure grant for $923,513 to improve water, sewer, drainage, and roads. It will facilitate the creation of Gillionville Woods Subdivision with 29 single-family homes on six acres of land within the city limits. The City of Albany is contributing ten percent of the total project costs, and the developer – Coleson LLC – is contributing fifteen percent of the infrastructure costs.

“Just like the state of Georgia, Albany has seen an increase in job creation and announcements,” said City of Albany Commissioner Chad Warbington. “This grant will allow us to build some of the housing needed to support our workforce, and it indicates the confidence our State has in Albany’s viability. It has been a while since Albany has seen an initiative focused on single-family housing, we’re very excited to have secured this award for the community.”

“I’m proud of the team that worked hard to make this project possible for our community,” said President of the Albany-Dougherty EDC Jana Dyke. “Workforce housing is a necessity that most communities are facing challenges with, this grant will help Albany fill some of the need that exists here.”  

Escalating construction costs have driven the prices of new homes beyond the resources of many hard-working families. Programs such as the rural workforce housing initiative are addressing this situation,” said Albany Mayor Bo Dorough. “Collaboration between the public and private sectors will be necessary to revive the construction of single-family homes in many communities, including ours. I applaud the dedicated employees who prepared and submitted the application, and I thank the OneGeorgia Authority and Commissioner Nunn for the favorable decision on that application.”