GAINESVILLE – The City of Gainesville is entering the competition as one of many municipalities seeking a portion of funds headed to the state from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Gainesville Housing and Special Projects Manager Jessica Tullar told city council members during their work session Thursday morning that the application was for $10-million and was being submitted in partnership with the Gainesville Housing Authority.
“They (State of Georgia) are offering it for three different areas: broadband expansion, water and sewer infrastructure improvements, and negative economic impact (from the COVID-19 pandemic). We’ll be applying under the negative economic development.”
“We’re excited about the opportunities that may afford if we receive the grant,” City Manager Bryan Lackey said. “And this really allows us to address affordable housing in Gainesville.”
Tullar said “economically distressed areas” would be first in line to receive funding help and those areas will be determined by new U.S. Census data just being released.
Applications for funding such as this are not new to Tullar and her staff. Several years ago the city received approximately $1-million of grant funding and used the monies to construct new affordably-priced homes. “We built ten houses using that money,” Tullar said.
Tullar said the deadline for submitting the city’s application is the end of the month and that a decision from the state should come quickly.
“It’s a highly competitive round, apparently,” Tullar said, “so we suspect we would know something by the end of the year, is what they’re telling us.”
Tullar said with the soaring costs related to housing it was important to be realistic in how much the award can accomplish. “While it’s a lot of money and we think we can do a lot of good, it may not go as far as we hope,” she explained.
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