Campus News

UGA awarded grant to study community revitalization needs

An increased understanding of the housing and neighborhood revitalization issues facing Georgia’s rural and small-town communities will help researchers at UGA address needs in these communities.

Led by the College of Family and Consumer Sciences’ Kim Skobba, an assistant professor of financial planning, housing and consumer economics, UGA is using a five-year, $474,998 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to conduct the research. The research team will be assessing housing and neighborhood challenges and collecting community-level social capital data for 353 small and nonmetropolitan municipalities in Georgia.

This Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant was awarded through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, which supports projects that sustain and enhance agriculture and related activities in rural areas and protect the environment, enhance quality of life and alleviate poverty.

Researchers will use communities selected from the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing as well as small, rural communities that are not a part of GICH to compare needs and issues. These comparison communities will help researchers see whether capacity building programs enhance social capital and support.

Overall, the researchers aim to provide technical assistance, increased public awareness and policy solutions through the integration of research, education and extension activities.