New Georgia Bill Wants to Restrict City Housing Authority Powers


A new bill in the Georgia General Assembly would, if enacted into law, limit the ability of city housing authorities to operate outside municipal boundaries without authorization.

Georgia State Sen. Lindsey Tippins (R-Marietta) is the bill’s primary sponsor, according to the legislature’s website.

“Any city housing authority operating housing projects that are outside such city and within 10 miles of the boundaries of such city on July 1, 2021, shall be entitled to continue to operate such extraterritorial housing projects,” according to the language of the bill.

The bill goes on to say that “provided, however, that no new housing projects outside such city shall be authorized without the governing body of the county or municipality where such housing project will be located consenting to the expansion of the housing authority’s area of operation into such county or other municipality.”

Tippins did not return The Georgia Star News’ requests for comment Tuesday and Wednesday about this bill and why he believes the state needs this proposed law.

The website for the U.S. Housing and Urban Development lists the locations of several of Georgia’s city housing authorities, including those in Abbeville, Bainbridge, Cairo, Dahlonega, Eatonton, and Fairburn, among many other places.

Other bill sponsors include the following:

• State Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega)

• State Sen. Bill Cowsert (R-Athens)

• State Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville)

• State Sen. Carden Summers (R-Cordele)

• State Sen. Lee Anderson (R-Grovetown)

• State Sen. Marty Harbin (R-Tyrone)

• State Sen. Chuck Hufstetler (R-Rome)

• State Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-White)

• State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick (R-Marietta)

• State Sen. Billy Hickman (R-Statesboro)

• State Sen. Dean Burke (R-Bainbridge)

• State Sen. Max Burns (R-Sylvania)

According to the Athens Housing Authority’s website, housing authorities have a strong relationship with local, state, and federal governments but they are independent agencies.

“Charted under state law, a housing authority is an autonomous, not-for-profit public corporation. This organizational structure allows housing authorities to work in conjunction with local governments and agencies to develop long-term housing strategies for communities,” according to the Athens Housing Authority’s website.

“Though independently run, housing authorities are required to follow federal regulations.  In addition, housing authorities receive a subsidy from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Housing authorities do not receive any funds from state or local governments.  Each year, the Athens Housing Authority provides a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) of approximately $95,000 to Athens-Clarke County.  A local Board of Commissioners, appointed by the city’s mayor, governs housing authorities.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Georgia Capitol” by DXR. CC BY-SA 4.0.







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