The City of Portage has the largest tax base of any community within Kalamazoo County, Michigan with a valuation of $1.8 billion. As a suburban community, the City continues to grow and as it grows its population is diversifying. Although minority populations within the City grew more quickly than white populations, these populations are being assimilated into the larger social fabric. There are no census tracts within the city where minority populations are more than 11 percent of overall population. As the overall economy of the City grows, median household income has continued to increase the median income of $39,045 significantly higher than that of Kalamazoo County ($32,060) This Consolidated Plan represents a comprehensive and coordinated approach to addressing community needs as the economy and population of the City grow and expand.
Including $55,000 from Program Income, the City of Portage will make $334,000 available through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program and $100,000 through the State HOME Program in 1995. The City plans four projects for those funds including single- and multi-family residential housing rehabilitation, code enforcement and capital improvements. Specific activities will be defined through these programs in the future.
The preparation of the Consolidated Plan began in November, 1994 with a request for ideas from human and public service agencies. A public hearing was held on January 5, 1995 to receive input from the City's Human Resources Board and the City Administration. The first draft of the Plan was completed in March, a summary published in the local newspaper and a second public hearing held in April. A final draft was endorsed by the City Council in May and forwarded to HUD.
The City of Portage endorses and encourages active citizen participation in
conjunction with the preparation of this Consolidated Plan. Technical
assistance is provided to any agency or group who requests assistance in
submitting questions. A written answer to complaints or grievances are made
within 15 working days.
The City of Portage contains approximately 34.7 Square miles and is located in Southwest Michigan, just south of the City of Kalamazoo. Until 1920, the population of Portage remained stable at approximately 1000. When the utilization of automobiles became commonplace urbanization began at a rapid rate. Since then the Portage population and economy have grown steadily. Population continued to grow through the 1980's to a 1995 estimated population of 42,547.
Recent population growth has helped diversify the Portage population as the percentage growth in minority population far exceeded that of white population. However, minority population is well integrated into the community with no census tract exhibiting more than 11 percent total minority population and minority populations comprising at least 2.5 percent in all census tracts.
In 1990, approximately 51 percent of the City was residential, 23 percent
commercial and 26 percent industrial. The 1989 median household income was
39,045 with family household income at 44,381 and non-family household income at
21,006. Areas of lower income concentrations are not easy to determine and the
census data indicated that there are few identifiable homeless persons in the
There are 16,133 housing units in the City according to the 1990 Census, an increase of 18 percent since 1980. Seventy-two percent are single-family dwellings, four percent are 2-4 unit structures, five percent are 5-9 unit structures, and sixteen percent are multi- family structures with 10 or more units. Other units are mobile homes or other non- permanent units.
Seventy-two percent of Portage housing units are owner-occupied. The median sales price of housing units in 1990 was $71,800. The median rent for the City in 1990 was $385 per month with the rate for an efficiency at $315 and two-bedroom units at $458. Only 50 dwelling units, owner and renter, were determined to be substandard in a windshield survey of all units.
A common rule of thumb is that a renter or an owner occupant household should not spend more than 30% of their gross income on housing. Those that spend more than 30% are experiencing Housing Cost Burden (HCB). Of the 4,390 rental units in the City, 766 units, or 17%, were occupied by households who were experiencing HCB. Of the 11,077 owner occupied units, 856 units, or 8% were occupied by households who were experiencing HCB. It is also estimated that about 20% of the rental units and about 12 of the owner occupied units have some sort of physical defect or code deficiency.
The City of Portage has 15,467 Households as follows:
It is estimated that over 851 rental units have some sort of physical defect which does not meet HUD minimum Housing Quality Standards (HQS). It is estimated that $2,000 per unit on average, would bring these units into conformity with the HQS, costing a total of $1.7 million. Renter cost burden and overcrowding are other issues that require attention, however, these housing issues have been given medium or low priority, meaning that if funds are available, they may be addressed.
In Kalamazoo County there are at most 1,100 homeless persons on a given night according to the Bureau of the Census. Although there are no known homeless in Portage and no homeless facilities, some homeless from the Portage area may reside in other Kalamazoo County shelters. As indicated in Table I, the total share of Kalamazoo County homeless is estimated to be approximately 71 City of Portage residents who experience homelessness.
The City has no public housing units. The County of Kalamazoo was allocated
84 Section 8 assisted units, 10 of which were in the City of Portage. There are
a number of other efforts being made in the City to provide rent reduced units,
such as section 236, Low Income Tax Credits, Senior Citizen Housing, and housing
for the handicapped.
The goal of the Five-Year Plan is to provide decent housing and a suitable living environment for:
The city faces an enormous challenge in marshalling the resources necessary to implement their Plan. The Consolidated Plan contains an inventory of Federal, State, and local programs available to carry out their Plan.
Non-housing community development needs are identified in The Consolidated Plan. However, only capital improvements such as sidewalk improvements and street lighting improvements will be considered in the next five years.
Just over 4% of the residents in Portage are at or below the Federal poverty level. The City of Portage has neither the resources nor facilities to unilaterally carry out programs directly targeted at reducing the number of households below the poverty level.
Kalamazoo County has a small role in administering housing programs, such as
Section 8 programs and the Weatherization program. The County is currently
organizing an in-house task force to bring together all programs related to
housing at the County level.
The FY 1995-96 One Year Action Plan will maintain the existing programs while working on expanding programs to include newly identified needs in the FY 1995-1996 Consolidated Plan. The existing programs have proved to be effective and well received throughout the City in preserving and upgrading the quality of existing housing stock and low\moderate income target neighborhoods in the City. The Action Plan will serve to provide direction to administer housing programs, help nonprofits and other housing providers decide what activities they should plan for and will also aid in making decisions about the optimum use of limited personnel and financial resources in FY 1995.
The proposed projects include the following:
This program will assist 60 low, very low, and moderate income owner occupied households to bring their units up to minimum Housing Quality Standards through the following means: Deferred or low interest loans for rehabilitation or water and sewer hook-ups, Exterior Paint Grant program, Smoke Alarm Installation Grant program, and the Emergency Repair Grant program.
This program will rehabilitate approximately 8 to 12 rental housing units for extremely low, very low, low, and moderated income persons.
This program will assist Habitat for Humanity to fund four houses within the City of Portage by providing funds to connect houses to utility services.
This program will install street lighting where necessary to improve safety for pedestrian and vehicular traffic in target neighborhoods.
This program provides public and human services to low income families in need of emergency services during the program year.
The remainder of CDBG funds ($48,170) are used for administrative purposes.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.