Officials are calling all community members to step up to the plate in assessing the needs of low-income residents.
Davis citizens are asked to take a short survey online about areas throughout the city in need of improvement.
Upon completion, the survey, along with its data, will be integrated into the final Consolidated Plan. This five-year plan works towards bettering the living environments of all individuals while focusing on low-moderate income households.
The city will use the survey to determine how to allocate funds.
“A survey is one way to obtain information,” said the city’s community services administrative analyst Patrick Conway. “We have had limited time and resources to put this plan together. This is an approach to gather data from the community.”
Because there are a certain number of low-income residents in Davis, the city qualifies as an entitlement city. Davis is a participant in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The City of Davis receives government aid through federal programs, known as the Community Development Block Grant and Home Investment Partnerships Program.
The city has been a part of the CDBG program for over 24 years. Through its participation, it received almost $23 million in aid. Davis also received more than $9 million from the HOME project.
The last survey was conducted in 2005. The top four facilities in need of repair were child-care centers, health care facilities, centers for the disabled and general community and recreation facilities.
“The annual report averages consistent high demands for health care and food services,” said housing and human services superintendent Danielle Foster. “With food becoming more and more expensive, these needs are harder to provide for.”
Communicare Health Services is an organization located in Davis that annually applies for and utilizes the CDBG grants. Providing medical and dental services for lower income families, Communicare offers bilingual and bicultural health education to a diverse population of people. This organization has received between $17,000 and $22,000 in grants each year since the 1990s.
“These grants have become increasingly important over the years because we aren’t getting state funding,” said Communicare executive officer Robin Affrime. “We are getting more and more uninsured people. But we don’t turn away people who can’t provide uncompensated care. We could use four times more what they give us. These funds are essential.”
City Staff, Social Services Commission and the Davis City Council are responsible for overseeing any requests for financial assistance towards social service programs. All grant funds are directed towards extremely low to moderate-income individuals and households. At least 70 percent of the total recipients are required to have low or moderate incomes. The money is then distributed amongst needed improvements in various services, housing or infrastructure. Any suggestions made in the distributing of funds must benefit all community members, according to the CDBG requirements.
“The plan should be available for viewing around February,” Conway said. “After, there will be two public hearings with the Social Service Commission with the City of Davis and then with the Davis City Council.”
Survey responses will be accepted until Nov. 30. The survey results will available for viewing in a draft of the Consolidated Plan online. To participate in the survey, community members can access the inquiry at cityofdavis.org/cs/cdbg/survey.cfm.
SAMANTHA BOSIO can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.