Residents of Toledo and Vader, your first round of surveys are being mailed on Monday by Econometrica, Inc. Your help is needed in order for your city to be eligible for grants through HUD. This is free money for your city; sewer, streets, parks are all affected by CDBG grants.
The City of Vader and the City of Toledo has been included in a pilot program by HUD through the Department of Commerce to provide an income survey that will hopefully show more accurate income data than the data being currently used by HUD.
The current HUD income data (individual household's income levels in the jurisdiction) has an extremely high error rate 85-95%. This inaccurate HUD data has caused several small communities to lose the ability to qualify for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding because it shows that the city's percentage of Low-Moderate Income (LMI) households is below HUD's threshold of 51% LMI households. This loss of funding has been a devastating blow to Toledo and Vader and the other small communities affected by the inaccurate data. This funding is often used to fund projects like, sewer and water system improvements, park improvements, stormwater improvements, planning and design of projects, and many other infrastructure needs.
The only way for Vader and Toledo to become eligible for the CDBG funds again is either wait until the next round of HUD information comes out (several years down the road) and hope their new data is more accurate than the last information or, complete our own independent income survey (which would easily cost $15,000 or more). Being such small communities, they don't have the funds to afford an income survey. With several other WA communities in the same situation, HUD has developed a new income survey tool and wants to test this tool by conducting free income surveys for selected communities this spring.
Commerce has selected 5 jurisdictions to participate in this test/pilot program to get a survey done at no cost to the community. The City of Vader (including the Vader-Enchanted Valley Water System run by Lewis County Public Works) and the City of Toledo are two of the five pilot cities selected.
This is very exciting and a real blessing for these small communities. The trick is that CDBG funding applications for 2019 are due June 5th and the income survey needs to be completed before the application deadline. The company, Econometrica, Inc., who is going to perform the surveys feels that it will be a squeeze, but that they can get the survey completed by the deadline. The survey is required to get a 60-80% response rate which is very high and we thought it would be a good idea to get this information out to the residents of Vader and Toledo to help them understand the importance of participating in the survey.
Please residents of the City of Toledo and the City of Vader, when you receive your survey, take the time to complete. You can complete the survey online, via phone or via mail. Your community depends on you!