Sac Housing and Redevelopment Aims to Return Benefits to Rural Areas by Correcting Mis-Data

C.A. Giacoma
Staff Writer
April 13, 2016

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Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency senior planner Sandy Piekarski with consultant Yayin Isle and analyst Brad Satterwhite traveled to Isleton to meet with citizens as part of their effort to correct skewed statistics that are impacting eligibility of rural communities to receive block grants in the Delta.

There is such a large disparity between the way community eligibility for block grant funding has been determined, historically, and the new method for collecting data. In the past the data used was drawn from the most recent census, which counts the incomes for every household. In the last determination the data was drawn by the new “American Community Survey” (ACS) method, which takes just a small sample and bases everything on that minimal information, for the whole community. The ACS rules also required that the three Delta census tracts that once encompassed Walnut Grove, Courtland, Locke, part of Isleton and Hood are now combined into two tracts, which has further skewed the numbers and rendered communities that desperately need those funds, ineligible to receive them. Infrastructure continues to deteriorate in these rural communities, which qualified for these funds following the 2000 census, but became disqualified following the 2010 census when the ACS system came into use, going from a sampling of 1 in 6 households to a sampling of just 1 in 40 households. It has been established that the ACS, from 2006 to 2010, undercounted rural areas. The skewed data showed a median household income increase of nearly 50% during a recession period when most households suffered loss and some households failed altogether. The same data also produced an equally invalid population rise during a period when, in most Delta communities, the population actually decreased.

In an effort to correct the disparity and re-qualify low to moderate-income communities for badly needed block grants, the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency randomly mailed 350 packets containing surveys, sent out at the end of March. They are also holding these meetings to offer support and assistance to any residents of the area who received a survey in March. If you received one of the packets and were unable to make it to this meeting and have questions or need assistance to complete and submit the form, you can reach Sandy Piekarski at: (916) 449-6245. Further information on this agency can be found at:

Completing and returning the surveys is very important because this is how they identify your community’s real need for these funds and insure eligibility to receive them. In the past these federally funded block grants have helped pay for badly needed fire fighting equipment for the Courtland and Isleton Fire Districts, historical preservation and parks improvements such as Isleton’s Bing Kong Tong building, road repairs and numerous other important infrastructure needs.

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