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Sandusky forms five-year plan

Andy Ouriel • May 15, 2014 at 7:00 AM

You spoke. Sandusky officials listened.


For the past few months, officials hosted public forums and accepted suggestions in determining how to best spend federal money they’ll receive in each year now through 2018.

The recommendations serve as a road map, motivating officials to reserve money for specific projects, including ones combating blight, promoting economic development and enhancing public properties and infrastructure.

Coined the Community Development Block Grant, these federal funds aim to boost the quality of life for individuals in low- to moderate-income households and neighborhoods.

Community residents identified four major areas they want to see enhanced in Sandusky: housing, homeless needs, community development and non-homeless special needs.

“We really are taking the public input and making this a citizen-driven plan,” said Jason Smith, a city planning consultant representing Detroit-based Wade Trim Associates. The company recently received $35,500 in block grant funds to help administer Sandusky’s five-year plan.

For 2014, city officials have about $809,000 to work with and can begin tackling the following concerns:


What community members want:

•Quality affordable housing in locations near essential amenities.

•Support and encourage homeownership.

•Housing rehabilitation for homeowners who can’t afford maintenance on their homes. n Emergency home repair. n Housing programs, such as credit counseling and foreclosure prevention. n Demolition and clearance of blighted structures.


Goal No. 1: Improve the supply and quality of affordable housing within Sandusky.

•Preserve, maintain and improve existing affordable housing stock for low- and moderate-income and special-needs households. n Uphold property values and improve neighborhoods through the elimination of blighted conditions.

Goal No. 2: Enhance availability and accessibility of affordable housing to people of low and moderate income throughout the city.

•Assist low- and moderate-income and special-needs households to become homeowners. n Aid with self-sufficiency, homeowner education and other housing assistance for low- and moderate-income homeowners.


What community members want:

•Long-term and short-term shelters for homeless men and women, veterans and families. n Food pantries. n Educational programming for youth. n Programs for those recently released from prison and job readiness. n Training and retention programs for homeless and at-risk veterans.


Goal: Prevent and reduce homelessness within Sandusky.

•Provide services promoting selfsufficiency for the homeless or those at-risk of becoming homeless. n Support programs offering meals, shelter facilities and/or shelter beds to the homeless.


What community members want:

•New or improved parks and recreation facilities in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods.

•Public facilities such as community centers with programming for seniors, youth and disabled populations. n Handicap-accessible improvements at parks and public buildings.

•Park improvements.

•Improved pathways and connectivity between area parks and natural spaces, including land and water trails.

•Youth and young adult services, such as educational programming, mentoring and programs to prevent recidivism.

•Public improvements supporting redevelopment, including street improvements, sidewalks, lighting and parking in order to promote additional public and private investments.

•Jackson Street Pier and lot redesign.

•Business facade and signage program.

•Tree plantings.

•Enforcement and crime prevention.

•Code enforcement.

•Improvements around Chesapeake Lofts.

•Environmental cleanups and brownfield redevelopment.


Goal: Enhance the quality of life for people living in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods through public investment in facilities, improvements and services along with the elimination of blight.

•Improve physical condition within designated low- and moderate-income areas through code enforcement, blight removal and property contamination remediation, such as neighborhood cleanups and residential demolition.

•Invest in public improvements within low- and moderate-income areas.

•Invest in public facilities benefiting low- and moderate-income residents.

•Support public services for low- and moderate-income residents.

•Improve public safety and crime prevention within low- and moderateincome areas.

•Support local businesses in low- and moderate-income areas or businesses owned by low- and moderate-income people.

•Support job training resource opportunities.


What community members want:

•Comprehensive handicap-accessible improvements citywide to enhance accessibility and independence of the elderly and people with physical and developmental disabilities.

•Early childhood development to increase healthy pregnancies, improve parenting and advance child health, development and readiness.

•Health care and mental health counseling for people with mental, physical or developmental disabilities.

•Development of a group home. n Health and wellness programs for seniors.


Goal: Promote access to public services for special-needs populations generally assumed to be low- and moderate-income community members.

•Support programs assisting specialneeds populations with housing or accessibility improvements.

•Increase the supply of transitional housing for people with special needs.

•Support programs providing basic needs assistance, including meals, health care and transportation to people with special needs.

•Provide funding to agencies offering case management, counseling or selfsufficiency training to people with special needs.

•Encourage health and wellness among people with special needs.

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