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The City’s Department of Community Development encourages residents to complete a “community priority needs survey and help shape Evanston’s future.” The purpose of this survey is to get community input regarding housing and non-housing needs for the City of Evanston for the next five years. The survey takes very little time to complete and can be found either on line from the City’s home page at www.cityofevanston.org or by calling to request a paper copy from the Planning Division, at 847-866-2928, ext. 2268. “This survey will help guide the City in deciding how to allocate entitlement grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from various programs that can be used to benefit primarily low and moderate income residents,” explained Dennis Marino, Interim Director of the City’s Community Development Department. “These priority needs, along with strategies and ways to measure progress, will be included in the City’s 2010-2014 Consolidated Plan to be submitted to HUD.” The Consolidated Plan is the five-year strategy plan that sets a unified vision combining long-term strategies with short-term action steps to meet priority needs. These priority needs are funded through entitlement grant funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships and Emergency Shelter Grant programs. HUD specifies three statutory program goals for the Consolidated Plan: 1). provide decent housing; 2). provide a suitable living environment including neighborhood revitalization; and 3). provide expanded economic opportunities. The last time that the City of Evanston conducted this survey was five years ago when the current Consolidated Plan was prepared. As one of the most economically diverse older, midsized cities in the Midwest, Evanston is a distinct place with many amenities and opportunities, as well as challenges. Collaborative planning with citizens, businesses and institutions is integral to the city’s culture, as are public and private partnerships that promote revitalization. Revitalizing Evanston and improving the quality of life is a daily focus of the Planning Division in collaboration with other City departments. Its mission is to serve as a catalyst and a resource base for improving the City, its neighborhoods, historic districts, downtown and the industrial, institutional and commercial components of the local economy.