Atlanta, GA (November 2, 2018) – The Georgia Department of Community Affairs announces that nine Georgia communities have received statewide distinction in the PlanFirst program, which recognizes excellence in community planning. The cities of Centerville, Chamblee, Fitzgerald, Hiawassee, Swainsboro, Sylvester, Toccoa, and Washington, and Colquitt County have each achieved the state of Georgia’s “PlanFirst” designation, a commendation given to communities that demonstrate an established pattern of successfully implementing their local comprehensive plan.
In addition, nine communities renewed their PlanFirst designation: Gwinnett County, Liberty County, Columbus Consolidated Government, and the cities of Dublin, Gainesville, Lula, Porterdale, Roswell, and Suwanee. Designated communities are eligible for technical assistance, as well as bonus points and enhanced eligibility for certain DCA funding opportunities.
“Good planning sets the stage for economic growth,” said Christopher Nunn, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. “Our PlanFirst communities serve as statewide models for others in how to actively and strategically implement a vision for the future.”
To apply for PlanFirst, communities are required to address four primary program criteria focused on having a proven record of plan implementation success: goals, leadership, community participation and implementation. The designation is for three years – beginning January 1, 2019 – and enables these communities to take advantage of various incentives that include public recognition, eligibility for specified grant opportunities, and certain reduced interest loans.
The next deadline for applications is May 15, 2019. More information about the program is available on DCA’s PlanFirst website. The Department of Community Affairs developed the program with a steering committee comprised of partners including the Georgia Municipal Association, Association County Commissioner of Georgia, the Georgia Planning Association, the Regional Commissions, and the University of Georgia Archways program, and other state agencies including the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, the Historic Preservation Division and Environmental Protection Division.
About the Georgia Department of Community Affairs
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) partners with communities to create a climate of success for Georgia’s families and businesses through community and economic development, local government assistance, and safe and affordable housing. Using state and federal resources, DCA helps communities spur private job creation, implement planning, develop downtowns, generate affordable housing solutions, and promote volunteerism. DCA also helps qualified low- and moderate-income Georgians buy homes, rent housing, and prevent foreclosure and homelessness. For more information, visit www.dca.ga.gov.