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Comprehensive Plan for Housing
With rapid growth, the makeup of the Gwinnett County population is changing. Housing affordability, neighborhood stability, and community services are increasingly important to maintaining the county's high quality of life. The Consolidated Plan will contain Gwinnett County's vision and strategy for housing and community development with a particular focus on providing affordable housing, improving living environments, and expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income families.

Department of Housing and Urban Development Requirements
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that Gwinnett County have a HUD-approved Consolidated Plan in order to continue to receive funds from the following federal programs: Community Development Block Grant Program, HOME Program, Emergency Shelter Grants Program, and the American Dream Down Payment Initiative. The planning process is used by the County to establish funding and programmatic priorities for these grant programs for a five year period [2008-2012]. In previous years, these funds have provided Gwinnett County and its residents with such programs as:
  • counseling and down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers
  • support for Gwinnett County Habitat for Humanity's construction of new affordable housing units
  • acquisition and rehabilitation of substandard rental housing in the Beaver Ruin revitalization area
  • construction of new affordable housing for senior citizens
  • rehabilitation of substandard owner-occupied housing
  • upgraded infrastructure in areas such the Liberty Heights neighborhood and in a number of participating municipalities
  • construction and renovation of senior citizen centers and other public facilities
  • removal of architectural barriers in public facilities
  • emergency assistance for homeless persons

State Approved Pilot Project
Because land use and development issues (which are discussed and addressed in the Comprehensive Plan) impact and relate to housing and community development issues (which are discussed and addressed in the Consolidated Plan), the County is combining the Consolidated Plan and the Comprehensive Plan into the Unified Plan - an integrated and innovative plan that evaluates the County's current conditions, depicts alternative futures, and determines the best way to achieve the desired future. Preparing and presenting the housing and community development information as part of a comprehensive land use and development plan is a HUD and State of Georgia approved pilot project that could become a national model for other communities.

Public Participation
In addition to providing Gwinnett County with a vision for housing and community development, the Consolidated Plan also meets the grant application requirements for the HUD programs listed above. Residents of Gwinnett County will have opportunities in public workshops, meetings, and public hearings to provide input and to comment on the Unified Plan's strategies and funding priorities for HUD grant funds.