Toledo Seeks Input on Community Needs

To help shape a five-year plan to earmark federal funding for community, economic and housing development, Toledo is seeking input from those who live and/or work in the city through an online survey.

Of the about $6.8 million a year of Community Development Block Grant and $1.7 million of HOME funding that Toledo’s Department of Neighborhoods receives from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the city allocates the maximum of 15% annually to fund social service programs.

That is more than $1 million a year that can help fund assistance for first-time homeowners, home repairs for seniors, soup kitchens, street improvements, emergency shelters, community gardens, employment training, neighborhood safety, and a whole host of other community needs.

Toledo is using the online survey coupled with the usual community meetings to help determine what areas to focus in the Department of Neighborhoods’ next Five-Year Consolidated Plan, which starts July 1, 2015.

“We are looking for a better road map with substantial community input to better direct the allocation of these funds,” said Tom Kroma, director of Toledo’s Department of Neighborhoods. “Everything we fund has to be in the plan.”

Added Bonita Bonds, the Department of Neighborhoods’ commissioner of fiscal/monitoring: “We want people to tell us what they think our city really needs.”

Social Determinants of Health

ProMedica is addressing social determinants of health – including hunger, housing and education – throughout its 27-county service area and elsewhere nationwide by working with various government and community partners. Among them is the City of Toledo, ProMedica’s hometown.

Allen Gallant, supervisor of ProMedica’s grants department, is representing ProMedica on the Department of Neighborhoods’ 29-member Planning Steering Committee, which will help guide the city’s next Five-Year Consolidated Plan.

That plan will take into consideration input from those who live or work in Toledo. Input will be taken through the online survey that will be available until July 2, 2014, and at neighborhood meetings that will be held throughout the city.

Online Survey

The survey asks people for some background information, as well as to rank dozens of categorized community needs. It also asks people whether there are additional community needs or issues they think should be identified and which neighborhoods the city should consider focusing funding.

This is the first time the Department of Neighborhoods has used an online survey to gather comments about its Five-Year Consolidated Plan. Typically, a couple of hundred people fill out the survey at neighborhood meetings, so the city is hoping many more residents and people who work in Toledo will give input if the survey is online, Bonds said.

To fill out the survey, please click here.