Development of the 2001-2006 Consolidation Plan (CITY STEPS):
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PLAN
FOR THE CONSOLIDATED PLAN (CITY STEPS)
FOR HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
In working with communities across the country, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has realized the importance of coordinating housing programs with services and economic development, to help cities create and maintain a livable environment particularly for their low income residents. The Consolidated Plan is the planning document that outlines the partnerships between housing providers, human service agencies, neighborhoods and the business community for addressing specific community needs.
The Consolidated Plan will document housing and community development needs, and identify strategies to meet those needs in Iowa City. The process encourages many citizens to participate especially the low-and very low-income residents who benefit directly from the funding decisions.
This Citizen Participation Plan encourages citizens to participate in the consolidated planning process from the outset. It outlines the procedures for community approval of the Consolidated Plan; for addressing concerns, objections and complaints, and for making amendments to the plan after approval. This plan meets HUD's basic requirements for citizen participation in preparing a Consolidated Plan.
Initially two existing citizen commissions will play a role in the citizen participation process --the Housing and Community Development Commission (HCDC) and the Local Homeless Coordinating Board. These commissions will hold public hearings, collect comments, and provide forums for annual review of the plan.
To assist with the development of this Consolidated Plan the City formed a Priorities and Strategies (P & S) Committee. To avoid any conflict of interest issues the six member P & S Committee is comprised of three members from the HCDC and three private citizens who do not represent local organizations that may be competing for CDBG\HOME funding. In order to recommend strategies and make priority rankings the committee will discuss and review community needs and input received from public meetings. This information is shown in the strategic section of this plan and will be used for the planning elements of the Consolidated Plan. The strategies identified in this plan, and the priority rankings, will be used by the HCDC and City Council to make recommendations regarding future funding allocations.
CITIZEN PARTICIPATION ACTIVITIES
1) Citizens will be made aware of and encouraged to participate in the annual activities related to the development of the Consolidated Plan, any substantial amendments and the performance report, through neighborhood and City newsletters, the media, and the human service agencies as appropriate.
2) Information concerning the plan will be provided to citizens, public agencies, and other interested parties through the media, general public meetings, and neighborhood meetings.
3) Before the consolidated plan is adopted information will be made available, through the above-described channels, on the amount of assistance the jurisdiction expects to receive and the range of eligible activities that may be undertaken.
4) In circumstances where funding opportunities are appropriate for specific neighborhoods, neighborhood meetings will be held to provide specific information about the plan as appropriate. These meetings will be held at convenient locations and times to allow broad participation of all residents who might be affected. The meetings will be designed to allow citizens to give input into the development, implementation and assessment of the consolidated plan. Particular effort will be made to involve very low- and low-income persons, members of minority groups and persons with mobility, visual, and hearing impairments in this process.
Non-English speaking persons or persons with hearing impairments can be provided an Interpreter at public hearings/meetings, if a request is made at least seven days prior to the scheduled meeting date.
5) Technical assistance will be provided by the Community Development staff to citizen commissions, neighborhood groups, and groups representative of persons of very low- and low-income that request such assistance in developing proposals for projects to be funded through any of the programs covered by the Consolidated Plan.
6) Notice of public hearings and meetings related to the Consolidated Plan will be published with date, time, place and topic in newspaper(s) of general circulation at least 4-10 days prior to the public hearing/meeting. In addition, press releases will be sent out, public service notices placed on the radio and cablevision, and notices sent out to neighborhood residents as appropriate.
7) The Housing and Community Development Commission will hold annual public meetings to provide information regarding the consolidated plan, priorities, and proposed activities to citizens and to permit citizen input regarding the City's community development needs.
8) Following citizen input, a draft Consolidated Plan will be published prior to the City Council public hearing. At the time an Annual Action Plan is prepared the City will notify the public as to proposed projects, organizations responsible for implementation of projects, project location (if known), and project financial information that includes amount of local funds being requested.
9) Publication will consist of a summary of the proposed Consolidated Plan in one or more newspapers and copies of the proposed plan will be available at the Public Library and the Planning and Community Development Department office. The summary will include a list of the locations where copies of the entire plan may be examined.
10) A City Council public hearing will be held to obtain citizen comments on the draft Consolidated Plan. At the appropriate time (generally in April of each year) the one-year Action Plan detailing the proposed activities and their sources of funding for the program year will be available for public comment.
11) Citizens, public agencies, and other interested parties will be notified of the availability of the Consolidated Plan as proposed and will be given thirty (30) days to comment on the plan, amendments that are to be submitted to HUD before its adoption by the City Council. The Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) will also be made available for public comment for a period of at least thirty (30) days prior to its approval.
12) After consideration of citizen comments on the proposed Consolidated Plan, the final Consolidated Plan and priorities will be approved by the City Council. Also after consideration of citizen comments at a public hearing the Annual Action Plan, that describes the program activities for the current year, will be approved by the City Council.
13) After the end of the program year the HCDC will hold a public hearing to review program performance for the previous year as part of its review of the CAPER.
Citizens shall be provided reasonable notice and opportunity to comment (as described above in the citizen participation plan) on any proposed "substantial change" and/or amendment in the Consolidated Plan. An amendment to the plan must occur whenever one of the following decisions is made:
a) to add, delete or substantially change any portion of the plan;
b) to make a substantial change in the allocation priorities or a substantial change in the method of distribution of funds;
c) to carry out an activity, using funds from any program covered by the Consolidated Plan (including program income), not previously described in the action plan; or
d) to substantially change the purpose, scope, location, or beneficiaries of an activity.
A "substantial change" includes:
Change in Purpose - if an activity changes with respect to the objectives as originally described in the Consolidated Plan;
Change in Scope - if the scale and/or nature of the activity changes to the extent that there is a significant increase or decrease in program funds expended, or if changes/revisions within the original budget allocation exceed the greater of $20,000 or 25% of the original budget for all projects approved within the Annual Action Plan.
Change in Location - - if the originally approved project is neighborhood specific or in an urban revitalization area (e.g. housing rehabilitation or elimination of slum and blight) and the project location is changed to an area outside of its census tract; and
Change in Beneficiaries - if the percentage of Low-Income persons receiving service/assistance decreases 25% or more.
The City will consult with public and private agencies providing health services, social services and housing assistance during the preparation of the plan.
More specifically the City will consult with:
1. State or local health and child welfare agencies with respect to lead based paint hazards.
2. Adjacent local governments regarding non-housing community development needs as well as housing and homeless needs that are regional in nature.
GENERAL CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PRACTICES
1) All comments or views of citizens (or units of local government) received in writing, or orally at the public hearings shall be considered in preparing the final Consolidated Plan.
2) A summary of these views and comments, and a summary of any comments or views not accepted and the reasons therefore, shall be attached to the final Consolidated Plan, amendment of the plan, or performance report.
3) Comments, complaints, or questions about the Consolidated Plan, priorities, and funding allocations received in writing or orally at public hearings by one of the citizen commissions, the City Council, or City staff, or received by telephone or mail will be answered in a timely, substantive, and responsive manner (by written response) within a 15-day period after they are received.
4) Information concerning the Consolidated Plan, and, once approved, a copy of the Consolidated Plan will be available to the public in the offices of the Department of Planning and Community Development during regular office hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday). All published documents may also be reviewed at the Iowa City Public Library or the City Clerk's Office at the Civic Center, 410 E. Washington Street, Iowa City, Iowa 52240.
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