Columbia city officials launched an online survey to assess residents' priorities regarding city projects for the next fiscal year.
According to the city’s website, it expects to receive federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development with a total of over $1 million.
Housing Programs Supervisor Randy Cole said the funds will go toward a variety of community activities to help provide economic opportunities, stabilize neighborhoods and assist with affordable housing.
Although funding will primarily benefit low to moderate income neighborhoods or individual households, Cole said, the survey is open to the public as a whole.
“How we address these issues that are facing our community directly impacts every person in our community,” Cole said. “So it’s vital that everyone provides feedback for how the city moves forward in addressing issues of social equity in our community.”
Besides looking at the survey results every year, the city also requests proposals from local organizations to find out what they think the community's biggest needs are, Cole said.
Central Missouri Community Action, a nonprofit social services organization, has used the funds to develop programs in areas like business loans, early childhood care and single family homes, Executive Director Darin Preis said.
Preis said they encouraged staff and clients to take the survey since many of their programs are driven by the priorities established by the city.
As for this year, “It’s hard to anticipate exactly how people are going to respond,” Preis said. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see a little bit more emphasis on equity issues, and making sure that people with multiple barriers in their lives have access to the same levels of support as everybody else.”
The survey has received 204 responses so far, Cole. It will close April 28 at 5 p.m.