Community Needs Assessment
Missoula County and the City of Missoula held a Community Needs Assessment public meeting on November 15, 2018. This meeting was a means to help gather public opinion on Missoula's community needs and provides an opportunity to hear suggestions for potential community projects.
The information and feedback collected at the meeting guides both governmental entities in allocating and/or seeking funds for needed housing and community development projects that assist low- and moderate-income residents or neighborhoods. Funds may be used to expand, maintain or improve the supply of housing; offer human services; promote economic development; and construct or rehabilitate public infrastructure.
In addition to the public meeting held, Missoula County and the City of Missoula distributed their annual online Community Needs Assessment Survey during the month of October 2018. Nearly 400 persons (N=393) responded. Seventy-nine percent (79%) of the respondents resided in the city and 21% lived outside the city limits in the county at the time of the survey.
The purpose of the survey was to gather community perceptions of municipal and county needs pertaining to housing, infrastructure, public facilities, public services and economic development. More specifically, the results of the survey will help guide funding priorities related to U.S. Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) grants.
Highlights of the survey results:
- County residents felt the county should prioritize:
- Increasing affordable housing options for all income levels
- Improving infrastructure such as roads, sidewalks, water, sewer, and broadband.
- City residents asserted the same priorities, preferring a focus on increasing housing that is affordable to all income levels, improving infrastructure, and improving public facilities like transitional housing, senior centers, and mental health centers.
- Respondents indicated two areas of priorities regarding persons experiencing homelessness:
- Mental health and substance use treatment services
- Diversion specialists who work to keep at-risk households housed.
- On the topic of housing, respondents held the opinion that:
- Affordable housing in the homeownership market should be obtainable by those with moderate incomes (51% to 80% of Median Income)
- Affordable housing for renters should be obtainable by those with very low incomes (31% to 50% of Median Income).
If the brief highlights above have whet your appetite to learn more about the Community Needs Assessment, contact Sindie Kennedy, 258-3688, firstname.lastname@example.org.