CITY OF SPOKANE’S COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PLAN
The City of Spokane's Community Development Citizen Participation Plan is designed to create opportunities for citizens to be involved in the development of the City’s annual Action Plan Component of the Consolidated Community Development and Housing Plan and the implementation or amendments thereof. This Citizen Participation Plan addresses the 2003 Action Plan Component of the 1999 Consolidated Community Development and Housing Plan. Having an approved Citizen Participation Plan in place is a requirement of the Cranston-Gonzalez National Affordable Housing Act and Section 508 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, for direct recipients of HUD Programs.
The City of Spokane intends that its Community Development Program has the support of the largest possible number of people in the community. Emphasis is placed on opportunities for participation by low/moderate income persons and the organizations and agencies that serve low/moderate income persons through the use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME) funds and Emergency Shelter Grant Program (ESGP) funds.
The City of Spokane is the recipient of Community Development Block Grant funds, HOME Investment Partnership Program funds, Emergency Shelter Grant Program funds, Section 108 Loan funds and other grants. In 1995, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) combined the CDBG, HOME and ESGP application cycles, creating the Consolidated Plan process. Now this single process is used to evaluate needs, set priorities and allocate funds to implement projects using CDBG, HOME and ESGP funds. It will also identify fair housing actions to be taken. This process is more efficient while allowing for a more comprehensive approach to the evaluation of needs, the establishment of priorities and the allocation of funds.
Spokane's Community Development Program began in the first months of 1975. Since then, approximately $112 million in CDBG funds have been allocated to projects and programs in Spokane's low and moderate-income neighborhoods. There are now 13 Community Development neighborhoods covering roughly half of the geographic area of the City.
Spokane began receiving HOME funds in 1992 and ESGP funds in 1987. Since then $15,741,000 in HOME funds and $1,617,000 in ESGP funds have been received to benefit Spokane’s low and moderate-income residents.
Recognizing the importance of citizen involvement, the City established Community Development neighborhoods with steering committees to assist in allocating CDBG funds and implementing projects. The following list gives the current Community Development neighborhoods with the year they joined the program:
East Central 1975
West Central 1975
Chief Garry Park 1975
Peaceful Valley 1975
Nevada Lidgerwood 1977
Lincoln Heights 1977
Browne's Addition 1978
Latah Creek 1987
Historic Cannon's Addition 1990
To qualify as a Community Development neighborhood, at least 51% of the residents in the area must have low/moderate incomes. Data from the U.S. Census, which is conducted every ten years, is used to determine low/moderate income areas and the program eligibility of each Community Development neighborhood.
The Community Development Board was established in 1986 to provide oversight and guidance to the Community Development Department and the Community Development Neighborhood Steering Committees. The Board, appointed by the Spokane City Council, consists of ten members who are residents of the Community Development neighborhoods and/or the city-at-large. Board members serve a maximum of six years.
The Community Development Board appoints the Housing Advisory Working Group (HAWG) to assist in allocating HOME funds. This group consists of one or more Community Development Board members, a neighborhood representative, a local lender representative and representatives of local low income housing practitioners.
The Human Services Advisory Board (HSAB) is an eleven-member board appointed by the City Council to provide guidance and oversight to the Human Services Department. The HSAB recommends Emergency Shelter Grant Program fund allocations to the Community Development Board.
Spokane has other opportunities to obtain loans and grants from time to time. The City is an entitlement jurisdiction under HUD’s Supportive Housing Program for homeless and transitional housing. The City may also apply for Economic Development Initiative (EDI) grants for economic development projects and other CDBG eligible activities. Additionally, the City may be eligible for HUD 108 Loan funds when the current 108 Loan principal has been retired.
PARTICIPANTS IN THE COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PLAN
The development of the Consolidated Plan and its annual Action Plan components is a collaborative effort of many individuals, organizations and agencies. Requests and recommendations are made or can be made to the neighborhood steering committees or the Community Development Board. The Community Development Department will provide staff support to develop the 2003 Action Plan.
Individual Citizens - The participation of individual citizens is the foundation of the Community Development Program in the City of Spokane. Reasonable efforts will be made to make all citizens aware of the Program-related meetings and events in their neighborhoods, as well as, public hearings and citywide events that concern the development of the 2003 Action Plan. It is our goal to create ample participation opportunities for all interested citizens; including, but not limited to, minorities, non-English speaking persons, and persons with visual, mobility or hearing impairments.
Community Development Neighborhood Steering Commit-tees - Each neighborhood recognized by Community Development Department has a neighborhood Steering Committee, chaired by a citizen elected by the Committee. A Steering Committee’s recommendation for the expenditure of CDBG funds to the Community Development Board is the result of efforts to inform neighborhood residents, to solicit their input and to reach decisions that will provide benefits to the neighborhood. The Steering Committees also serve in an advisory capacity for implementation of the projects in their area.
Organizations, Agencies and Public Housing Authority - The Spokane Housing Authority, as well as other organizations and agencies involved in the development and implementation of projects to assist low-income citizens, will be contacted to advise them of the Action Plan process. These organizations and their clients will be encouraged to participate in the development of the Action Plan.
Community Development Board - The Community Development Board is the citizen body that coordinates the development of the Consolidated Plan and the annual Action Plan. The Board membership is made up of residents of Community Development neighborhoods and/or the city-at-large. Several have been active in the Community Development Program, at the neighborhood level, for some time. The Community Development Board will make recommendations to the City Council on the contents of the Action Plan and the projects therein. The Board works with the neighborhood and other organizations, considers their recommendations, prepares the draft Action Plan and, after a public hearing to allow open discussion of the proposed plan, forwards it to City Council for final review and adoption.
City Council - The City Council is the final citizen policy body that reviews and takes action on the Action Plan. After receiving the Plan from the Community Development Board, City Council considers and then votes on the proposed plan. After approval, the Action Plan is forwarded to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
PROMOTION - PUBLICITY - COMMUNICATION
The development of the Action Plan takes place over many months, with citizen participation encouraged in all stages by a comprehensive communication/publicity effort. The communication efforts, scheduled to support the program, include but are not limited to the following elements:
Neighborhood-Based Communication - One of the most important communication elements is neighborhood-based. Each Community Development Neighborhood is asked to design its own communication and promotion strategy, which may include the following activities:
· Using neighborhood-wide bulk mailings to notify residents about Community Development meetings and events.
· Keeping an up-to-date neighborhood mailing list for use in distribution of flyers, meeting announcements, etc.
· Encouraging neighborhood groups, churches, schools, etc. to assist in informing their members about the Community Development process.
· Planning special activities and events to attract broader participation in the Community Development process.
· Contributing articles and notices about the Community Development process to community newspapers.
Organizations, Agencies, Spokane Housing Authority Communication - The Spokane Housing Authority, as well as other organizations and agencies representing and serving low-income citizens, will be contacted for information on the needs and priorities of their client groups and for suggestions of projects to be funded under the Action Plan.
Non-profit organizations and agencies are encouraged to submit Public Service Applications to request CDBG funds for their programs. A Request for Proposals (RFP) will be published in a newspaper of general circulation in August, prior to the year funding will be used. Applications are also mailed directly to agencies and organizations that received funding the previous year. Other applications are mailed upon request.
The neighborhood Steering Committees review the proposed public service applications for their neighborhood and include selected applications in their tentative fall allocation recommendation to the Community Development Board. The HSAB receives public service applications for citywide CDBG funds. The HSAB reviews those applications and makes recommendations to the Community Development Board for funding.
Tentative allocations for HOME funds are made by the Housing Advisory Working Group and submitted to the Community Development Board for inclusion in the Action Plan. The Human Services Advisory Board makes tentative allocations of ESGP funds. These recommendations are passed on to the Community Development Board to be included in the Action Plan.
Citywide Media-based Communication – The use of media and other publicity efforts are planned to include newspaper notices of public hearing dates, times and locations. A large newspaper notice will give the amount of funds the City of Spokane expects to receive and the range of activities that will be undertaken with these funds. This notice will give the estimated percentage of proposed 2003 CDBG, HOME and ESGP funds that will be used for activities that benefit low and moderate-income. This notice will also state whether any displacement is anticipated as a result of the proposed 2002 CDBG, HOME and ESGP activities, stating that if displacement should occur, assistance will be made available in accordance with the City of Spokane’s Community Development Displacement Plan.
Availability of the Proposed Draft Action Plan – In a newspaper of general circulation, the Community Development Department will publish a summary of the proposed Action Plan for public comment. The notice will give all pertinent information as to where the Plan is available for public examination, including address and hours of availability.
Review of the Draft Action Plan - The Citizen Participation Plan provides for a 30-day public review of the draft Action Plan prior to submission to the City Council for final consideration and adoption. The beginning and ending dates for the 30-day pubic comment period will be published in the large newspaper notice described above under “Citywide Media-based Communication.”
Availability of the 2003 Action Plan - The Community Development Department will provide copies of the 2003 Action Plan to neighborhood Steering Committees and other interested citizens and organizations, upon request.
STAFF SUPPORT AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Staff support is an important element of the Citizen Participation Plan. To guarantee citizen participation in development of the Action Plan, the Community Development Department will make every reasonable effort to respond to requests from citizen organizations needing technical assistance to develop proposals. In addition to Community Development staff working directly with Steering Committee members, each Steering Committee will designate a neighborhood coordinator to convey Community Development information, set up meetings, make phone calls, facilitate communication concerning project implementation, etc.
ACCESS TO RECORDS
The Community Development Department will provide citizens, public agencies and other interested parties reasonable and timely access to information and records relating to the City of Spokane's Action Plan Component of the Consolidated Community Development and Housing Plan and the City's use of assistance under the programs covered by the Consolidated Plan and Action Plans during the preceding years. The City may from time to time enter into public/private partnerships utilizing federal programs, i.e., loans and grants that require the submission of proprietary business information to document the financial conditions of the proposed loan or grant. Such proprietary business information may be exempted from disclosure under certain conditions.
As integral elements of the Community Development Program, citizens and organizations will be involved in decisions regarding program implementation. Often they will work directly with the City department that has been assigned to execute the approved project within the Action Plan. The Community Development Board is the citizen body having overall responsibility for implementation of the Community Development Program.
Each Community Development Neighborhood Steering Committee acts in an advisory role in the implementation of projects. Their advisory role consists of, but is not limited to, any or all to the following items:
· Reviewing projects for their respective neighborhood, e.g., park improvements.
· Making recommendations in the implementation of neighborhood projects.
· Serving on a neighborhood task force, policy committee or advisory committee for a specific project, e.g., a community center.
· Providing ongoing recommendations on projects within their respective neighborhood.
Additionally, organizations funded with Action Plan allocations are involved in the implementation of their projects.
ASSESSMENT OF PERFORMANCE
Citizens and citizen organizations have the following opportunities to submit comments on all aspects of the City of Spokane's Community Development performance:
· Community Development Board public hearings on the draft Action Plan.
· Correspondence to the Community Development Board.
· Correspondence or verbal comment to the Community Development Department during the allocation process, implementation phase and/or after completion of the projects.
· Neighborhood meetings (previously described).
CRITERIA FOR AMENDMENT TO THE ACTION PLAN
An amendment to the approved Action Plan will occur when the City of Spokane decides not to carry out a project (activity) described in the Plan, to carry out a project not previously described or to substantially change the purpose, scope, location or beneficiaries of a project. Change will be considered substantial when the purpose of the original project has been changed to a new significant project scope, when the location of the original project has been significantly changed to a new location or when the beneficiaries of the original project have been replaced by new project beneficiaries.
CITIZEN SUBMISSION OF COMMENTS AND RESPONSES
Citizens have several ways of submitting their comments and proposals to the applicant, the City of Spokane, regarding the Action Plan. Prior to and during the planning period, citizens are encouraged to become involved in the process through citywide news announcements, newspaper ads and neighborhood-based communications to express their views and proposals in the preparation of the Action Plan. The citywide and neighborhood-based communications list public hearings and neighborhood meetings where citizens, individually and as recognized neighborhoods, may be involved in the process and express themselves.
The City of Spokane Community Development Department will provide timely response to all proposals submitted by citizens, using written responses to state the reasons for the action taken on the proposal. The Community Development Department will respond to action taken on a proposal within 15 working days of the action, whenever possible. Whenever possible, responses will be provided prior to the final hearing on the application.
The development of the Action Plan will include the provision for two public hearings—one to be held during the Community Development and Housing Needs information gathering period (November) and a second public hearing during the 30-day public review comment period on the draft Action Plan (March).
NON-ENGLISH SPEAKING; DEAF AND HEARING IMPAIRED; VISUALLY IMPAIRED
The Action Plan process intends, to the maximum extent feasible, to accommodate the needs of non-English speaking residents, deaf and hearing-impaired residents and visually impaired residents. In all newspaper advertisements for public hearings and in mailings for public hearings, language will be included expressing the Community Development Department's desire to accommodate the above specified needs, along with the Community Development Department phone number (625-6325) and TDD number (625-6694) so arrangements can be made for the services of an interpreter, signer or reader. All accommodation requests should be made 72 hours prior to the advertised public hearing, however, if a request is made within 72 hours, every reasonable effort will be made to provide an interpreter, signer or reader.
SPECIAL ACCOMMODATION AVAILABLE
The Spokane City Council Chamber is wheelchair accessible and is equipped with an infrared assistive listening system for persons with hearing loss. Headsets may be checked out (upon presentation of picture I.D.) at the City Cable 5 Booth located on the first floor of the Municipal Building, directly above the Council Chamber. For additional accommodation, available upon request, please call 625-6325 at least 72 hours before needed.
Complaints regarding the Community Development Program will be answered by the Community Development Department staff in a timely and responsive manner. The staff will make every reasonable effort to provide written responses within 15 working days.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION SCHEDULE
Following is the schedule for the Program Year 2003 Citizen Participation Plan:
June/July 2002 - Prepare draft Citizen Participation Plan by the Community Development Board and make available for public comment.
August 2002 - Public service applications mailed. Community Development Board reviews public comments on the draft Citizen Participation Plan. The Board then votes to adopt the Citizen Participation Plan.
September 2002 - Public service applications due.
October 2002 - Tentative allocations for neighborhoods, public services and community centers. Neighborhood Fall Allocation meetings.
November 2002 - Public hearing November 7 on tentative allocations, needs assessments, etc. including housing. Community Development Neighborhood Fall Allocation meetings.
December 2002 - Community Development Neighborhood Reports due. Community Development Board begins reviewing applications for CDBG funding.
January 2003 - Neighborhood Reports presented to the Community Development Board on January 9 and 23.
February 2003 - Community Development Board meets to finalize allocations and draft Action Plan prior the public hearing and 30-day public review to begin February 24.
March 2003 - Public hearing on draft Action Plan, tentatively scheduled for March 6. March 26 will be the end of the 30-day public review period.
April 2003 – CD Board reviews public comments. Action Plan presented to City Council on April 28.
May 2003 - Target date for submission of Action Plan to HUD is May 9.
July 1, 2003 - Begin Program Year.
2003 Citizen Participation Plan was adopted by the Community Development Board on September 12, 2002.
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Last Modified: September 18, 2002
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