Citizen Participation Plan
The Housing and Community Development Consolidated Plan is a collaborative process through which the community identifies its housing, homeless, and community development needs. In addition this plan establishes the vision, goals and strategies for addressing the identified needs. Annual Action Plans identify how the money received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be spent over the upcoming program year – taking into account the regulations governing the programs – to meet locally identified needs.
The Citizen Participation Plan describes the framework and process to be used to develop and implement the Municipality’s housing and community development programs as required by HUD. This plan details the Municipality's policies and procedures for public involvement in the Housing and Community Development Consolidated Plan development and implementation process. (Top)
Citizen participation is a critical part of the Consolidated Plan process. It is the Municipality's desire to encourage all residents, especially those living in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, to participate in its planning process. Non-profit organizations, other government agencies, and interested parties have an opportunity to participate in the planning process as well.
To encourage the participation of residents of public and supportive housing developments, these documents and meeting notices will be distributed directly to public and supportive housing agencies. Informational presentations and public meetings during the planning process will be conducted in neighborhood facilities throughout the community, at times and locations convenient to the public, particularly actual and potential beneficiaries.
Notice of availability will be made through advertisements in local newspapers, e-mail, facsimile, bulletin boards, public counters, and flyers to local agencies and organizations. The public will be encouraged to review the draft plan and provide comments. The Consolidated Plan, Action Plans, and Annual Performance and Evaluation Reports will be made available in print and electronically and translated versions provided for non-English speaking persons when required.
A detailed description of the public participation process for each Plan, Plan amendment, and Performance Report will be included in the final version of each document. (Top)
The primary purpose of the programs covered by the Citizen Participation Plan is to improve communities by providing:
A suitable living environment
Expanding economic opportunities
The amount of federal CDBG, HOME, and ESG money Anchorage receives each year is mostly based on the severity of both poverty and substandard housing conditions in the area. It is imperative that public participation involve the lower income residents that experience these conditions. Genuine involvement by low-income people has to take place at all stages of the process for the Municipality to comply with federal regulations. (Top)
The policies and procedures included in the Citizen Participation Plan relate to several stages of action mentioned in law or regulation. In general these stages or events include:
Identification of housing and community development needs in the Housing and Community Development Consolidated Plan.
Preparation of an Annual Action Plan for implementing funding choices, including the amount of assistance expected to be received and range of activities to be undertaken.
Formal approval by elected officials of the Housing and Community Development Consolidated Plan and the Annual Action Plan.
Policy and procedures for formally amending the Consolidated Plan or the Annual Action Plan.
Completing a Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report that must be publicly reviewed and then submitted to HUD.
The Program Year - The program year for the Municipality of Anchorage under this transitional plan is July 1 through June 30.(Top)
In general opportunities for participation include: public forums and public hearings to identify housing and community development needs and review of proposed uses of funds.
The following describes the guiding principles of our Citizen Participation Plan:
To encourage participation by all sectors of the community, particularly those most likely to be impacted by an activity, the Community Development Division will utilize a variety of forums for public participation including workshops, focus groups, meetings with service providers, meetings and coordination with Community Councils and other citizens groups.
Neighborhood-based revitalization planning has been identified as a need in Anchorage, and planning is taking place through participation of staff and neighborhood groups. Several neighborhoods have been involved in the neighborhood selection process for a Neighborhood Strategy focus area within the Renaissance Zone. Neighborhoods in Anchorage are represented by Community Councils. There are 37 community councils in Anchorage. A map of Community Councils in north Anchorage, in the vicinity of the Renaissance Zone, appears below. There are a variety of references within this plan to neighborhoods, due in part toward an increasing emphasis on neighborhood-based community development.
Community Councils are volunteer neighborhood organizations that the Municipality officially recognizes as a group representing public opinion in each particular neighborhood. Residents, property owners, and local non-profit organizations and businesses in the neighborhood area belong to the local Community Council.
Community Council members work together on projects and issues that will benefit their neighborhoods, including collaboration with Municipal and other programs that are involved in community development and revitalization. The Councils are also the forum by which the neighbors to learn about developments Neighborhood Community Councils Map affecting the neighborhood, and to participate in local area Municipal planning and improvements. The Community Councils in the map in below are in the vicinity of the Renaissance Zone, which is appears in gray shading. Neighborhood Community Councils serve as a forum for neighborhood leadership and residents, businesses, and local organizations in improving the neighborhood and solving local issues, and they represent the interests of their neighborhoods to the rest of the community. Therefore, the Community Councils will be important partners as the Community Development Division and other organizations implement programs that benefit people who live or work in and around the Renaissance Zone. (Activity List)
The Municipality of Anchorage will host, at a minimum two (2) public hearings every year through the HAND Commission. Additional public hearings will be held by the Municipal Assembly to approve Plans and Plan amendments, appropriate grants, and allocate and award grant funds. At least one public hearing will be held prior to publication of a draft Plan for comment. A public hearing will also be held to accept comments on the annual performance report. All of these hearings afford the public the opportunity to comment on Plans and implementation activities. (Activity List)
Citizens will be provided notice of public hearings and meetings ten days to two weeks prior to the event. Notice will be given in a variety of ways, including:
- Large display advertisement in general circulation newspapers
- Electronic notification via e-mail and facsimile
- Direct mailing
- Posting of notices in public agencies and community facilities (Activity List)
For a public participation plan to be truly successful, it is important that notification of meeting be posted to the greatest extent possible and that the notification occur in a timely fashion. Notice of public hearings regarding the Consolidated Plan will be advertised in the Anchorage Daily News and provided to an extensive community mailing list. In addition, public meetings will be conveniently scheduled and located for people who will benefit from program funds, and will be accessible to persons with special needs. (Activity List)
Citizens, public agencies and other interested parties - including those most affected - will have the opportunity to receive information, review and submit comments on any proposed submission concerning any of the following documents:
- The proposed and final Annual Action Plan, including the amount of assistance expected to be received and range of activities to be undertaken
- The proposed and final Housing and Community Development Consolidated Plan
- Amendments to either the Annual Action Plan or the Multi Year Strategic Plan
- Annual Performance Reports
- Citizen Participation Plan
Individuals may access these documents at no cost by the Internet at the Municipality of Anchorage's website (www.muni.org), at the Division office in City Hall, Municipal libraries, or by contacting Municipal staff.
Public comment on proposed submissions will be accepted for the following periods:
- Consolidated Plan – 30 days
- Citizen Participation Plan – 30 days
- Substantial Amendments to the Plan – 30 days
- Consolidated Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER) – 15 days
A summary of comments and views received during the public comment period, and the Municipality’s responses, including whether comments and views have been accepted or rejected, will be attached to the final version of any of the above referenced documents to which they apply. (Top)