9/16/14: Public Forums Set for Citizens to Take Part in 2015 Erie County Community Development

Modified: January 23, 2015 4:13pm

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Forums Allow Public Input on Issues Affecting Elderly, Low & Moderate Income Households, Disabled

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Environment & Planning has announced upcoming citizen forums to help determine the needs and priorities of low and moderate income residents residing within the Erie County Community Development (“CD”) Block Grant Consortium. The consortium is comprised of 34 municipalities, excluding the City of Buffalo, the Towns of Amherst, Cheektowaga, Hamburg and Tonawanda and their Villages. The information gathered at the forums will assist the County’s Department of Environment and Planning in preparing the 2015 Community Development application to the US Department of Housing & Urban Development.

“These public forums are designed to give residents the opportunity to advocate for what is important to them, and tell officials what they would like to see happening in their communities,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Citizen participation is essential to the process and gives everyone a chance learn more about their community while having a voice in its development.  I encourage residents to attend and make their voices and concerns heard.”

The public forums are scheduled for:

  • Thursday, September 18 at 6:30 PM at the Lackawanna Public Library-Community Room, 560 Ridge Road, Lackawanna 
  • Monday, September 22 at 7:00 PM at the Tonawanda City Hall, Court Room, 200 Niagara Street, Tonawanda

These public forums provide an opportunity to increase citizen awareness and participation in the Consortium's federal Community Development program by allowing the general public, as well as agency advocates for low and moderate income individuals, the elderly and handicapped to offer  suggestions and information on the needs of these populations to County and municipal officials. Housing needs, such as affordable housing and housing for special populations (the homeless, the elderly, disabled persons, persons living with AIDS, and public housing residents), and community and economic development needs, such as transportation, jobs, community facilities and infrastructure (sewer, water and roads), will be prime topics for discussion at the forums.

These forums will also serve as countywide public meetings for Erie County's Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant and HOME Investment Partnership programs.  Each will cover four areas: Housing, Public/Human Services, Community/Neighborhood Development and Economic Development Needs, plus a review of CD Program Performance, as required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Information obtained from the meetings will be used to formulate the Erie County Consortium's Community Development 2015 Action Plan.  The update process will occur in early 2015.