Gwinnett County will soon have a new Housing and Community Development Division operating within its Department of Planning and Development.
This division was created as a response to one of the recommendations in a housing study requested by the Board of Commissioners.
Matt Elder has been named as the division’s director. He has nearly a decade of experience in housing and community development and served the last four years as the director of HomeFirst Gwinnett.
“Matt played a pivotal role into the creation of the County’s first homeless shelter for women and children – the Resting Spot. His empathy and compassion to help those in need, coupled with his experience in community and housing development, is exactly why he is the perfect person to take the helm of Gwinnett’s newly created Housing and Community Development Division. This division will serve as the catalyst to directly address the complex housing needs of our residents,” said Gwinnett County Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson.
Elder has an extensive background in affordable housing and homelessness initiatives and was a key partner in the implementation and successful execution of the County’s Project RESET and Project RESET 2.0 emergency rental and utility assistance programs.
“Housing and community development are two of the most important issues that Gwinnett County will face in the coming years,” Elder said. “The opportunity to work under the leadership of Chairwoman Hendrickson and the Board of Commissioners in implementing housing solutions is a dream come true. I am excited about the future for the County and the role that I can play in helping to positively impact it.”
Initially, the division will consist of 11 employees who will be responsible for administering grant funds awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through HOME, Community Development Block Grant and other programs. Their roles, along with Elder’s, will develop over time as new initiatives and policies are established.
Elder will join the County on Aug. 22.