Providing "Healthy and Sustainable Communities" is a priority for Montgomery County. The Community Development Division focuses on this priority by planning and implementing neighborhood revitalization projects in targeted communities, by ensuring that the federal and state funds we receive to support this work are spent in compliance with the rules and by directly administering contracts with other jurisdictions, non-profit organizations, contractors and consultants to further these goals.
The Division is divided into three sections
A major function of the Division is strategic planning. The Division of Community Development relies on a combination of activities to carry out its strategic planning functions. These activities are part of the division's annual work program and include:
Neighborhood indicators are data categories that are measurable and/or observable. Indicators provide statistics that can be tracked over time and that enable the Department to assess progress in providing "Healthy and Sustainable Communities." Examples of indicators include crime rate, rental vacancy rate, single-family sales data and physical condition of buildings.
Identification of "neighborhood strategy areas" and the preparation of action plans for those areas is a central feature of the Division's planning process. This involves analysis to identify areas of the county where the combination of physical age, socio-economic factors, changes in character, institutions, and conditions, shifting markets, or other factors have resulted in neighborhoods that could benefit from concentrated infrastructure or other improvement efforts.
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that all jurisdictions entitled to receive funding under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with Aids (HOPWA) programs develop a Consolidated Plan for community development no less than every five years, and an Action Plan every year. The FY13 Annual Action Plan serves as Montgomery County's application for CDBG, HOME and ESG funds for Fiscal Year 2012 (July 1, 2012 - June 30, 2013) and was submitted to HUD on May 15, 2012. The plan identifies community needs and identifies specific uses for the annual funding allocations under these three programs. The Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) also maintains a current Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice to ensure non-discrimination in housing by housing providers in Montgomery County. For more information or to download or view the Consolidated Plan or Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (also available via the Fair Housing webpage) please visit the Consolidated Plan webpage.
The Facilities Planning process examines the need for and practicality of potential capital improvement projects. Capital improvement projects may include streetscaping/beautification projects connected to revitalization of older retail centers and infrastructure improvements in older neighborhoods - drainage improvements, new sidewalk and streetlights, tot-lots, mini-parks, etc. The central features of a Facility Plan are:
This final element (Coordination of strategic planning activities) includes fairly detailed staff work with colleagues in other planning arenas, including transportation, housing and land-use planning at the local level, as well as coordination of efforts to conform with the State of Maryland's "Smart Growth Policies" and regional planning and policy work through participation in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.