Marion County building in downtown Salem (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

Marion County wants public input on how to spend millions in federal money as it develops a five-year plan for housing, community development, and infrastructure.

The county has two surveys open until July 14 to help outline priorities for community members like constructing new affordable rental housing or supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness.

SURVEY LINK

IN SPANISH

A consolidated plan is required by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development to determine where funding should go for the new program. A completed plan will be sent to the agency in August, said county spokeswoman Jolene Kelley.

Marion County is getting over $2 million from two federal programs primarily to provide affordable housing or rental assistance to low-income people.  

The planning process is supposed to fulfill three goals: provide decent housing, expand economic opportunities and provide a suitable living environment in the county.

Kelley said it’s too early to know what priorities will emerge.

“We will know more once we get deeper in to the process, following public input and consultation with the Board of Commissioners,” she said in an email.

Community members can review the draft consolidated plan during a 30-day review period from June 14 to July 14. There will also be a public input meeting in July, Kelley said.

The county is holding focus group meetings on May 4 and 5 to concentrate on specific areas of expertise such as economic development, housing and homelessness, and public services. People wanting to participate can sign up for the meetings online.

“The contractor facilitating the meetings intends to gather as much information in each of these focus areas to help inform the commissioners as they work to determine funding priorities.,” Kelley said in an email. 

Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected]

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