Community Notebook: Assessing the community's needs

San Mateo County officials are figuring out how to prioritize federal money for housing, development

San Mateo County officials making a new plan on how to spend federal housing dollars are asking residents to answer a survey to help identify their most pressing needs.

The Department of Housing's Consolidated Plan would prioritize various housing and community development resources, such as street repairs and mental health services, from about $3 million it will apply for from three sources: the Community Development Block Grant program, Home Investment Partnership Program and Emergency Solutions grants. In the past, funding has helped East Palo Alto with monies needed for water-wells development.

Three public meetings have already taken place, with a last one scheduled for tonight, Oct. 26, from 7-8:30 p.m. at San Mateo County Health System Multipurpose Room, 225 37th Ave. in San Mateo. Participants at a meeting on Thursday morning at the housing department office in Belmont prioritized housing for people with low incomes, seniors and those with disabilities; affordable rental housing; programs to help small businesses; and job training for youths and adults of all ages.

Anyone wanting to weigh in on the process has until the end of day on Oct. 30. The survey can be found online at


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