County Seeks Input on How $5 Million Should be Spent on Housing, Community Development, and Public Services Projects

County residents who want a say on how $5 million annually should be spent for various housing and community development projects including neighborhood improvements or home foreclosure prevention will get three chances to be heard according to a press release statement.

The Oakland County Community & Home Improvement Division is developing its five-year Consolidated Plan and identifying how the county will invest $5 million annually in Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships Program and Emergency Solutions Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The division is seeking the public’s input on how the money should be invested and has scheduled three public focus group sessions at the county’s Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford:

  • HOUSING – Tuesday, May 19 from 9 – 11 a.m.
  • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – Thursday, May 21 from 2 – 4 p.m.
  • PUBLIC SERVICES – Tuesday, June 2 from 9 – 11 a.m.

“These funds help improve neighborhoods, assist low-income homeowners with repairs to their homes and are used to help prevent foreclosures and homelessness,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “This is an important process and I encourage the public to attend one of the sessions.”

Those who are unable to attend a focus group can take an online survey at Oakland County CHI CP Survey 2015.

“There are never enough resources to help as much as we’d like so it’s really important that we make the best use of the funding available,” Division Manager Karry Rieth said. “Hearing from the public and other stakeholders about where we should focus limited resources can help us make these difficult choices. “

The forum topics were chosen based on input from earlier plans. Input from the public, the county Board of Commissioners and county staff will be used to develop the plan.

The Community & Home Improvement Division addresses housing needs and revitalizes neighborhoods but residents are often unaware of the critical services and programs it provides. Any Oakland County resident can access free housing counseling services regardless of their income. Residents can receive information and coaching from HUD certified housing counselors on issues such as preventing foreclosure and homelessness, tenants’ rights and reverse mortgages for seniors. Interest-free deferred payment loans are available to qualified households for basic home repairs.

Fifty-three local governments in Oakland County partner with the division to provide services and undertake community improvements to benefit low-income households. Efforts to increase accessibility to public facilities, transportation for seniors and disabled adults, tutoring program for disadvantaged youth, and street and sidewalk improvements are among the activities supported.

Community & Home Improvement staff is available to answer questions at (248) 858-5309.

 

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