The City of Fort Collins will host a public open house from 6-8 p.m. Dec. 2 at 215 N. Mason St., Community Room to gather input about social sustainability needs and how the City could be involved in closing those gaps.
“The City works collaboratively with agencies and organizations targeting underserved populations. There are gaps in services that we can identify and help each other address,” said Joe Frank, director of the Social Sustainability department. “We want to explore how the City can increase coordination across agencies and raise awareness to more effectively serve people in our community.”
Affordable housing, reliable transportation and lack of jobs that pay a living wage emerged as key concerns in a new Social Sustainability Gaps Analysis completed for the Department of Social Sustainability. City staff and consultants will be at the open house to answer questions about the study. Spanish translation services are expected to be available, and light refreshments will be served.
Those unable to attend the December meeting can submit their comments online at http://www.fcgov.com/socialsustainability
Preliminary discoveries about social sustainability gaps in Fort Collins that have emerged in the study include:
• 8,800 rental households are in rentals they cannot afford (roughly half are CSU students).
• 28 percent of homeowners are paying more than 30 percent of monthly income toward housing.
• Between 250-500 people are homeless in the community at any one time.
• 27,000 residents live in poverty, which is 19 percent of the population (4,000 are children). Nine percent of families are homeless.
• 55 percent of persons living below the poverty level (roughly $23,500 for a family of four) are employed.
• 10,000 residents have one or more disabilities; 46 percent are senior citizens.
• 40 percent of senior citizens live alone.
The study focuses on seven major target areas: Housing, Homelessness, Poverty, Health and Wellness, Education and At-Risk Youth, Diversity and Equity, and Targeted Populations (including Seniors, Persons with Disabilities, Veterans, Victims of Domestic Violence). The complete study will be available after Dec. 8 online at http://www.fcgov.com/socialsustainability
Consultants leading the project were Denver-based BBC Research & Consulting and Clarion Associates in Fort Collins.