Bloomington plans to beef up its public outreach to get feedback on how it should spend federal grants to help low and moderate-income families.
The City Council on Monday night is expected to adopt its annual Community Participation Plan following a public hearing at its 6 p.m. meeting. The plan outlines how it will engage the public in establishing a funding list for its annual Community Development Block Grants.
“In the past we haven’t done as much public meetings as we will this time, so I’m hoping we will get more involvement,” said Bloomington's Community Development Grants coordinator Jennifer Toney.
Toney noted public input for the grants has historically been light.
“Either everybody is happy with how we are spending the money, which I hope is the case, but maybe we need to do better outreach. I’m not really sure why we don’t get the participation.”
The plan calls for two public hearings, open houses, focus groups and surveys to collect public input, which will be used to craft a final plan which we need approval from the city council and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Toney added the city plans to seek feedback starting in early 2019 to craft its next five-year funding plan.
Bloomington is planning with Normal for the first time, though the communities will each handle its own funding. Normal approved its Community Participation Plan last week.
Bloomington gets about $500,000 each year in community development funds. The largest portion typically goes toward housing rehabilitation.
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