The Southfield Community Development Block Grant Program is asking residents and local nonprofit organizations to fill out a survey to help improve the city. The deadline to submit a response is Feb. 25.

The Southfield Community Development Block Grant Program is asking residents and local nonprofit organizations to fill out a survey to help improve the city. The deadline to submit a response is Feb. 25.

Photo by Jacob Herbert


Southfield seeking survey responses on how to improve

By: Jacob Herbert | Southfield Sun | Published February 11, 2021

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SOUTHFIELD — Like any good community should, Southfield city officials say they are always trying to get better.

The latest effort to do so comes from the city’s Community Development Block Grant Program, a federal program where the city gets funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Under the direction of HUD, CDBG rules require the city to develop a five-year consolidated plan to establish funding priorities. The CDBG Community Needs Survey is an integral part of this plan as it allows the city to see where improvements can be made or can continue being made.

The survey can be found on Southfield’s website at cityofsouthfield.com/form/cdbg-community-needs-survey-2021 and has a deadline of Feb. 25. The survey is communitywide, and all residents are invited to fill it out. CDBG Operations Specialist Rick Lampi suspects residents may ask for things like new sidewalks, solutions to flooding issues, improvements to local parks or better access to medical services.

“We’re just trying to get input to see the pulse of the community and what some of the people feel their needs are,” Lampi said. “Things are changing all the time. We can get set in our ways, and this is our way to tweak the program.”

The $450,000 that the program receives from the federal government every five years goes toward more than just improving the lives of Southfield residents. It also helps many of the nonprofit groups located within the city.

One example is Rebuilding Together. Funds from the survey allow the group to purchase materials to fix up the homes of families in need. Southfield’s Senior Transportation Program, known as TOSS — Transportation of Southfield Seniors — uses funds to give seniors with disabilities rides to the grocery store or medical appointments. The Southfield Youth Assistance Program, a partnership with the courts and public schools, provides scholarship funds for disadvantaged kids to attend local camps or tutoring sessions.

“We have nonprofit groups that are applying for grants, and part of their application process is a letter from us saying what they’re asking for is part of our five-year plan,” Lampi said. “It helps us support the causes and the missions of other nonprofits.”

CDBG Special Projects Coordinator Nina Greenstein is new to the program, but as a Southfield resident, she has noticed differences between this most recent survey and those of years prior. Greenstein said her office had already received 45 responses at press time from a survey that was still in its infancy. The large volume of responses can be traced to the city’s effort to have a bigger social media presence.

“I am a resident of the city of Southfield, so I know that a lot of the information I am getting is through social media,” Greenstein said. “We worked with our community relations department to put it out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are so many methods to community input that it makes us feel more confident that we are getting to people.”

For questions regarding the Community Needs Survey, contact Nina Greenstein at (248) 796-5119 or ngreenstein@cityofsouthfield.com. For more information on the CDBG program, contact Rick Lampi at (248) 796-4174 or rlampi@cityofsouthfield.com.

Call Staff Writer Jacob Herbert at (586) 498-1062.

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