About 300 Encinitas residents completed a survey to weigh in on how the city should use roughly $330,000 per year in federal funding over the next five years for housing, homeless services and other potential areas.
The money, which can be used for affordable housing, job training and other types of community needs aimed at low- to moderate-income residents, comes from the Community Development Block Grant Program by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The amounts that cities receive are determined by population size, prevalence of poverty, and other economic and demographic factors.
“It depends on what the community identifies as their main needs,” said Jennifer Gates, principal planner for the city of Encinitas, of its potential uses.
The survey period closed at the end of last week. Over 16 questions, respondents were asked about the housing, community service, economic development and other types of needs in their communities.
The city also hosted two informational meetings at the Encinitas Library Oct. 14 and 21 for residents who wanted to learn more about the process and participate in small group discussions to give their thoughts. A city consultant, LeSar Development Consultants, is evaluating that feedback, along with the completed surveys, for a report that will be completed over the next couple of months, Gates said.
“I think it’s going well,” she said of the process so far.
There will be a public comment period followed by City Council consideration of the city’s Community Development Block Grant appropriation.
Cities that qualify for the Community Development Block Grant Program have to complete several steps, including completion of a five-year consolidated plan and an annual action plan. In its 2015-20 Consolidated Plan, the city of Encinitas chose to prioritize fair housing, to promote accessibility and availability; affordable housing, including new affordable units and programs for renters, homeowners and the city’s homeless population; infrastructure and facility improvements, including capital improvement projects; and supportive services aimed at senior citizens, youth, residents with disabilities and other vulnerable segments of the population.
In the survey period leading up to the development of the 2015-20 consolidated plan, residents identified senior citizen centers, youth centers, centers for the disabled as some of the biggest needs in the community. Some of the public services that have been funded through the Community Development Block Grant Program include the nonprofit Community Resource Center, La Posada de Guadalupe, Meals on Wheels, San Dieguito Alliance and Interfaith Shelter Network.
For more information about the Community Development Block Grant Program, visit encinitasca.gov/residents/housing-resources/community-development-block-grant-program.