How Flint Did More With Less

In 2014, the city of Flint, Michigan piloted a service redesign initiative developed in partnership with The Cloudburst Group. The project, which shifted administrative and programmatic responsibilities for homelessness support, home repair services, and youth recreation from a sharply-reduced City staff to high-capacity partners, demonstrates an innovative approach that local governments can pursue to ensure that critical housing services remain strong, even after suffering a severe reduction staff.


For decades, Flint has witnessed a tremendous decline in population and tax revenues, like many rust-belt cities. Between 2010 and 2014, the staff of Flint’s Community and Economic Development Division was reduced by almost 50% while the workload has stayed constant or even increased.

Through thoughtful decisions and codified in formal agreements, forged with technical guidance from The Cloudburst Group, the City reshaped its delivery of a variety of services while retaining oversight and accountability at the city government level. Working with these community partners—the United Way of Genesee County, Metro Community Development, and Genesee County Community Action Resource Department—the City has already helped increase Flint residents’ access to critical services and programs: agencies providing critical homelessness prevention and re-housing services have faster access to much-needed flexible funds; city residents once again have a local program supporting home repair, now with a streamlined intake/application process; and dozens of small neighborhood groups have thrived through access to federal funds, and in turn have involved hundreds more local children and youth in year-round recreation activities.

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Judy Perlman

Related Projects

The Flint Service Delivery Redesign is just one example of how The Cloudburst Group has worked with communities to design and implement successful community economic development strategies. Read about related examples:

Increasing the Reach & Effectiveness of HUD Grant Funds in St. Louis, Missouri

Rebuilding and Revitalizing in the City of New Orleans, Louisiana