We are in the planning stages of identifying needs and seeking tools to design programs that serve our Community through collective action and solutions to common problems. Community Development serves the City through economic, social, environmental and cultural efforts at a grassroots level through asset based initiatives. As part of these initiatives we will be facilitating a networking group called the ‘Community Development Coalition’ to focus on building collaborative partnerships as well as an opportunity to share information and identify available services and resources. I will be reaching out to you the community (citizens, groups, associations, churches, government and non governmental agencies) to invite you to be part of this initiative. If you would like to be part of this effort please email Teresa Campo or you can contact me at 704.282.4526.
Staff presented the proposed action items to full Council on April 4, 2017 and received additional input/direction and returned to Council on April 18th. We will seeking adoption of the Community Development Programs on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 6:00 p.m..
A full list of outside agencies that the City currently receives funding can be found on page 70 of the City’s Budget.
The agencies that applied for funding for next fiscal year or subject to Council adoption for approval on May 4, 2017.
DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE
The City partners with the Monroe-Union County Community Development Corporation in providing equal housing opportunities* for low income households through funding from the City for down payment assistance. (*Area and Program Participation Restrictions Apply)
INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT – CDBG
Due to the population growth of our area, the City had an opportunity to seek Community Development Block Grant funding from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development through Union County, NC, combining our populations with four other cities to be designated an Urban County through a Collaborative Agreement. Through this partnership, the City received an award from the County in 2016 for an infrastructure project on Concord Avenue. The scope of work is for a new sidewalk (1,880 linear feet) that will be from the intersection of Engleside Street to the intersection of Loma Street. The project requires an environmental review before funds can be committed to the project. The City issued a Request or Proposals for qualified firms to submit there proposals by January 20, 2017. We received three qualified proposals and have asked for additional information with a closing date of February 27, 2017. We anticipate making the award in March, 2017 and will provide updates here, as they are noteworthy. The City of Monroe request for additional infrastructure assistance from Union County, NC for Fiscal Year 2018, was approved. Our application for Design Assistance FY2019 was approved subject to adoption by the County Commission and if funding is available our construction application for the next fiscal year will be approved for the sidewalk construction and completion.
For more information on HUD Urban Counties Urban County Information
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OUTREACH INITIATIVES
Special thanks to Florence Miller, President of the Quality Hills Neighborhood Group for our invite to present on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Our meeting was a welcome opportunity to listen, present, and solicit feedback from Quality Hills. The Community Development presentation focused on capturing and communicating a message unique for Hillcrest and building a City interconnect of all the communities. During the presentation, the group was polled and asked “What do you love about your community?”: Small, Quiet, Friendly, Loving, Faith Family Future, Close to Metropolitan Area, Close in Proximity to Beach and Mountains, Grew To Love It. The second polling question was “What do you love about the City of Monroe?” Coming Together with Neighborhoods, Families, Educating the Community, Resources – Finding For Improvement, Making Sure Recommendations Are Implemented. The group was asked to identify a small project within their community that the City could partner that would convey the message of what they love about Quality Hills to their community and others. An immediate response was a yard recognition program that the group could select the property and that Community Development could recognize, in addition, the group asked for them to meet together to decide on a possible project in May. We will begin to work with them on the beautification project and look forward to bringing others into the collaboration. We would like to speak to any group, church, organization, association, and agency about Community Development and what it means to you.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND STAKEHOLDER’S COALITION
On March 29, 2017 we held our first stakeholder’s meeting, this is the first of many sessions we will be holding in the Community as we hope to partner with Individuals, Non-profits, Faith Based Institutions, Groups, Businesses, Neighborhoods Associations, other Associations, and other Government Agencies to participate in the Community Development and Housing Coalition. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce our new initiatives and solicit feedback regarding existing and proposed City initiatives for creating safe spaces, building community, place making, and preserving and improving neighborhoods. The Group included two neighborhood association representatives, Union/Anson County Habitat for Humanity, BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust Company), Union County Community Development Corporation, Union County Board of Realtors, Union County Homebuilder’s Association, Union County Community Shelter, Council on the Aging, Union County Chamber of Commerce, Shining Light Baptist Church, Shining Light Eglesia Baptista, Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church. In addition to hand polling questions, there were three written polls questions:
- Would you support City Council’s efforts to provide one time Grant Assistance for Voluntary Demolition up to $10,000 for abandoned, single family property abatement for seniors, disabled, low to moderate income household’s that are in the Code Enforcement process? 9 = Yes; 1 = Yes, Voluntary Demolition; 1 = Yes, If there are large enough numbers; 1 = Absolutely; 1 = Yes, Vacant Lot, One Time Grant; 1 = Yes, In Support of Demolition Assistance Grants.
- Would you support City Council’s efforts to provide low interest loans or grants to low to moderate income households (special critieria) that are owner occupied and in the Code Enforcement process, to assist the homeowner to come into compliance with a minimum standard to save their home? 8 = Yes; 1 = Yes. Small interest rate needed – 1%, -extend beyond 5 years, Similar loan from Bank would be 10-15 years (for Remodel Home); 1 = Absolutely Support, Rehab – low amount of funding, leverage opportunities to use matching funds; 1 = Yes, Grants for Rehabilitation, Need more than $150,000, Needs to be in Partnership with other entities that already do this kind of Community Work, 1= Yes, Human Factor should be study as well specially with elderly people, 1 = Yes, we need more funds for the Minor Rehab Program.
- Did you find value in being invited and participating in today’s discussion (Names, Omitted)? Yes, I benefited from this meeting. It was very well prepared and presented. I would be glad to help in any way.; Value, appreciate the invitation to be here. Learned a lot about things I didn’t know about, especially I terms of housing and what is available for those in need, gratefully.; A good opportunity to know what other organizations/businesses are doing and be able to learn how we can partner together. *It should be done more and frequently during year.; Holistic approach to community development is key to building programs. Yes, glad I came and committed to providing input as the programs are developed.; Yes, long overdue.; Yes, agree to serve as part of the CD/Housing Coalition for the City of Monroe.; Value – Sure, Rental Properties need to be a priority topic for the group. More Players – including property owners and low income renters to have their voices heard.; Yes, 1) City involvement in Community (Help)., 2) Fire Department working with Code Enforcement, 3) Quality Housing.; Value of Invitation, yes, I’m excited the City is looking at these issues and look forward to participating.; yes, my Board of Directors has several members that may be a great help with these initiatives and also members of our association.; I feel that it is important to hear from others regarding the needs in Monroe. From the older adult perspectives those 60 and others, many are living in homes that are too big and too expensive but there are no options to down size and remain in Monroe or Union County. ;It’s a must to partner with economic development, economic development brings business to this area. Business fund majority of services consumed by residents with tax payments.; As a Realtor, I feel not only housing but land and commercial area all important to this scenario, 1) Land for housing & commercial, 2) Affordable housing, 3) Inviting Commercial. New and expanding business/commercial invite people needing housing and housing needs land and development.; There has been good info in this meeting, learning about the 70 – 30%.
The Stakeholder’s Briefing Presentation on 3.29.17 can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ityvLaP1NC4&feature=youtu.be