Washtenaw Urban County Plan Gets Final OK

Washtenaw Urban County‘s five-year strategic plan through 2018 and its 2013-14 annual plan has received final approval from the county board of commissioners. The vote came at the board’s May 15, 2013 meeting, following initial approval on May 1. [.pdf of draft strategic and annual plans]

The Urban County is a consortium of Washtenaw County and 18 local municipalities that receive federal funding for low-income neighborhoods. Members include the cities of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Saline, and 15 townships. “Urban County” is a designation of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), identifying a county with more than 200,000 people. With that designation, individual governments within the Urban County can become members, entitling them to an allotment of funding through a variety of HUD programs. The Urban County is supported by the staff of Washtenaw County’s office of community & economic development (OCED).

Two HUD programs – the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership – are the primary funding sources for Urban County projects.

The plans indicate that the Urban County area is expected to receive about $2.7 million annually in federal funding, which will be used for these broad goals:

1. Increasing quality, affordable homeownership opportunities

2. Increasing quality, affordable rental housing

3. Improving public facilities and infrastructure

4. Supporting homeless prevention and rapid re‐housing services

5. Promoting access to public services and resources

6. Enhancing economic development activities

A public hearing had been held at the board’s April 17, 2013 meeting.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building, 220 N. Main in Ann Arbor. A more detailed report will follow: [link]