Garrett County Community Action Committee has developed extensive affordable housing ventures, as well as community and commercial facilities, to improve the quality of life for County residents. GCCAC is also supporting small local towns in creating and implementing strategies for revitalizing business districts and neighborhoods.
The Garrett County Community Action Committee (GCCAC) maintains a Housing Development Department, a Community Facilities Department, and a Municipal Support Program to improve the quality of life for residents in the County by creating the capacity to construct needed community facilities and affordable housing units and by working with local communities to devise and implement neighborhood revitalization plans. GCCAC plays a crucial role in efforts to address community needs that have intensified from inflationary pressures of tourism and location of expensive vacation homes in this Appalachian Mountain community.
Both private and public sectors recognize GCCAC as a leader and catalyst in promoting successful community development in Garrett County. Major capital construction projects are established through a Development Team comprised of a general contractor, a property management company, and GCCAC. The team also includes an architect, accountant and an attorney. The grouping brings together and sustains necessary expertise and experience to conceive, plan, develop and manage new initiatives. Relationships are maintained with public and private lenders and GCCAC manages its own revolving loan funds that are used to finance predevelopment project costs and down payment assistance for first time homebuyers.
GCCAC provides significant added value toward the development of projects such as access to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and other similar resources, relationships with state and federal funding sources, community linkages and its outreach to low income residents. GCCAC is able to earn a net return of 50% on development fees as a result. GCCAC uses these earnings to sustain its development capacity.
The diversity of GCCAC Owned Projects is reflected through examples such as:
- Liberty Square – 30-unit elderly rental tax credit development.
- Liberty Mews (construction started) – 36-unit lease purchase housing development, which was one of the first ARRA housing developments started in Maryland.
- Mountain Laurel Medical Center – 10,000 ft facility built for a non-profit FQHC.
- Northern Garrett Community Center – Conversion of an elementary school into seven apartments, a senior and adult day center and a Head Start classroom.
- Community Action Center – Conversion of a 1894 26,000 square foot building into offices, three Head Start and childcare centers, a senior citizens center, and an assisted housing for elderly facility.
- Grantsville Early Child Education Center – 2,700 square foot facility
- Grantsville Senior Center – 7,000 square foot senior citizen and community center.
Grantsville Outreach Center – Income producing commercial office building.
Overlook North – 60-unit multi family rental housing development.
Overlook Early Child Education Center – 10,000 square foot building for Head Start, childcare, Early Head Start and parent support activities.
Garrett Rehabilitation Center – Income producing 9,000 square foot building leased to a physical and occupational therapy business.
Overlook Subdivision – 12 lot single-family subdivision for first time home buyers.
Mountain Village – 90-unit rental workforce housing development.
A substantial portion of GCCAC community development initiatives involves community revitalization strategies in the County’s rural villages and incorporated towns. GCCAC is affiliated with Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) that provides direct assistance and support to more than 50 Partner Organizations across the U.S. Some of examples of GCCAC’s revitalization and economic development projects include:
Administration of Mountain Lake Park’s sewer improvement grants.
Securing funding for environmental cleanup projects.
Training and financial assistance for micro business entrepreneurs.
Partnerships with local resort owner and nonprofit groups to develop Adventure Sports Center International to create 300 jobs.
The GCCAC Production Chart reflects the corporation’s successful development of more than 1,100 affordable housing units and commercial/community facilities in excess of 115,000 square feet. GCCAC’s gross earned income increased from $500,000 in 1996 to $1.9 million in 2004. Private investment jumped from $500,000 to $2.7 million.
GCCAC was selected as one of the Annie E Casey Foundation’s seven exemplary Families Count - Maryland organizations in 2005 for its work with low-income families. The Foundation awarded GCCAC a $500,000 unrestricted grant over five years in recognition of its work. GCCAC was recognized for its leadership to bring together and fuel economic development to create new opportunities for families.
Duane Yoder, President