Take a survey to help Kalamazoo County prioritize how to spend money on housing
KALAMAZOO, MI – Kalamazoo County government wants to know how to spend money to make an impact on the issue of housing, and it’s asking residents for their help.
Citizens are invited to take the county’s housing survey by May 22 to share their opinions.
The survey information is important to the Kalamazoo County housing plan, as it will provide more precise data, Housing Director Mary Balkema said.
“We will see demand for specific housing types, location preferences, clarify housing challenges, get feedback on housing priorities, and see how different demographic groups are impacted by the housing crises,” Balkema told MLive / Kalamazoo Gazette.
The county has limited data without information from the surveys, she said.
The data from the survey will help determine the greatest needs within Kalamazoo County and help with prioritization of dollars, she said.
The county is currently injecting millions of dollars of millage funds into the community through grants to private developers.
The county board of commissioners recently approved funding for the first year of money from the “Housing for All” millage. The approximately $ 7 million in annual millage money is designed to help address homelessness and overall housing affordability in the county.
Projects that recently received funding include a development on the northside by former Western Michigan Football running back Jamauri Bogan, and money to help Layla’s Cool Pops purchase a home to rent units to people who don’t have safe housing.
Kalamazoo County voters in November 2020 approved the countywide 0.75-mill property tax, which took the place of a 0.1-mill tax approved by county voters in 2015.
According to officials, 35,000 mailers were sent out to homes throughout Kalamazoo County. Cities, townships and neighborhood groups have worked together to provide support by sharing the link to the survey on social media, she said.
There is also a specific survey for those who are currently unhoused. Responses for this survey are being collected with the help of many Kalamazoo County shelters, nonprofits and the Continuum of Care.
Both surveys can be taken in English or Spanish.
The survey has been open since March 1.
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