HUD No. 09-13-2011
Joseph J. Phillips
September 13, 2011
FIRST EVER PARTNERS' PLANNING MEETING CHANGING THE LANDSCAPE OF GEORGIA
Over three hundred partners throughout Georgia participated in HUD's first ever Partners' Planning Meeting at the Georgia International Convention Center just south of Atlanta in College Park, Georgia on September 13, 2011.
The Changing Landscape: Partnering to Create Sustainable Communities was the theme and focus of the meetings which consisted of major breakout sessions addressing such topics as: the State of Georgia's Housing Market, Moving from Dependency to Sustainability and Collaboration is the Key. These roll up your sleeves small and effective working group sessions enhanced dialogue and culminated into the Community Collaboration Sessions. There HUD partners participated in small working groups based on what specific Georgia Regional Commission they fall under. From there each group worked to provide their top 1-3 recommendations for HUD to consider as part of HUD Region IV's first two year state-wide plan.
"I don't need to tell you that these are challenging times and it requires leadership, vision and a willingness to work together collaboratively to leverage resources in order to make a positive difference for those we serve," said HUD Region IV, Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr. "There is no doubt that change is upon us and it will require innovative leadership from all of us and you included to cooperatively "Win the Future"."
Presenters from as far away as California and as close as Atlanta and rural Washington, Georgia participated. Each of the presenters brought unique insight to their respective workshop and tangible solutions and ideas to stimulate conversation and thought among workshop partners.
The overarching ideas and recommendations expressed by the partners were enthusiastically presented to the overall group based on what Georgia Regional Commission group they fell under. There are twelve regional commissions that cover the state. Each recommendation was voted on by the overall group. The top recommendation was "the need for HUD to be more flexible in program implementation" which the group further stated, that if HUD were more flexible, then they would not disappoint HUD. The next highest rated recommendation was the need for more foreclosure prevention assistance as the state remains in the top ten in the nation. Each recommendation in addition to the top two were thoughtfully discussed and presented and there will be feedback provided to all meeting participants regarding their recommendations.
The first ever Georgia Partners' Planning meeting will not be the last. This new innovative inclusive from the ground up methodology was well received, and it will be followed by annual meetings as it works to Change the Landscape to Create Sustainable Communities throughout Georgia.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.