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Pembroke leaders attend conference
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Officials and community leaders from Pembroke participated in a conference in Rome, Ga., on Sept. 10-12 to learn more about improving housing and neighborhoods in their community.
As a community involved in the Georgia Initiative on Community Housing, members of the housing  team attended the conference to learn more approaches to solving community housing issues — such as use of land banks and code-enforcement strategies — and on available housing and community-development programs.
Housing teams also were introduced to unique partnerships, housing success stories and networking opportunities.
Woven throughout the experience was an emphasis on planning, goal setting, problem solving, leadership and development skills.
“The Pembroke Housing Team is dedicated to improving the quality of life for our citizens in Pembroke,” aid Tiffany Walraven, Pembroke City Council member and team leader.
“The Georgia Initiative for Community Housing has provided us with the technical assistance needed to develop a short-term and long-term comprehensive housing plan.”
During the first year of the program, the team will utilize resources across the state to perform a housing assessment and feasibility study of all housing within the city.
The assessment will aid the team in creating a plan of action for rehabilitation and development of viable housing options for citizens of the community.
The team is partnered with city officials, Georgia Southern University, Bryan County and community volunteers to complete the housing assessment.  
Pembroke was selected as one of five cities in Georgia to begin the program in 2013.
GICH members in attendance included: Tiffany Walraven, city council and Downtown Development Authority; Mary Warnell, Pembroke mayor; Ricky McCoy, Pembroke project manager; Bill Collins, Pembroke public-safety director; Kelly Price, Pembroke Police Department; Sharroll Fanslau, Pembroke community-development director; Terry McCoy, Owens Supply Company; Hannah DeLoach, Owens Supply Company; Traci Wells, Cora Bett Thomas Realty; Wilson Pickett, C. Pickett Home Builders; Ray Butler, W.R. Masonry; and Beatrice Soler, Coastal Regional Commission.

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