Decatur leaders begin preparation of Fair Housing Plan as area grows at fast rate

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: May. 12, 2023 at 2:04 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Surveys will soon be rolling out for the City of Decatur’s fair housing plan.

This is a federal requirement for cities like Decatur. It’s one of 16 communities in the state of Alabama that has to re-apply for the Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) every five years.

The grant can help the city in two ways. First, it gives money to the local government to spend on projects like acquisition of property, rehabilitation of structures and constriction of public facilities. Plus, it allows the city to take a deep dive into the needs of its community.

Decatur is at an extremely pivotal point. Community Development Director Allen Stover says the area is growing at a fast rate. He’s seeing a boom in residential housing. He says he hasn’t seen growth like this in the 20 plus years he’s worked with the city.

During the formulation of the 2019 plan, researchers found the residents’ biggest priorities were transportation and education.

They received this information through a variety of ways of engaging with the community like a survey for the community, stakeholder meetings and public service provider meetings.

“The city can’t do it on their own,” Stover said. “So, how can we assist these stakeholders and public service providers and providing that service if there’s a gap?”

The plan is due in April 2024, it will put together the priorities of the city. It will be followed by the fair housing consolidating plan, which will be a list of action items.

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