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Nine hundred residents shared their views through telephone and online opinion surveys conducted in the first half of 2019. Key findings are summarized, including ratings for different aspects of life in Flint. Ratings are based on a scale of one to five, in which five means “very positive” and one means “very negative.” For more information about how the ratings were calculated, see Methodology.


This section highlights survey results regarding what’s working and what needs improvement. If a section of Focus on Flint does not include information about Things to Celebrate or Things to Improve, it’s because the survey didn’t yield responses to fit the categories.


In addition to results of the opinion survey, Focus on Flint shares information that local nonprofit organizations and agencies have reported hearing from the residents they serve.


Support for the organizations and programs presented in bold text includes funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which produced this report. To learn more, visit the Foundation’s website,


Each section includes data and statistics that illuminate strengths of the Flint community and highlight challenges. These facts were collected through opinion surveys of Flint residents; from city, state and federal agencies; and from local nonprofit organizations. The Flint surveys were conducted in the first half of 2019. Unless otherwise noted, all remaining data are from 2018.


This section highlights organizations and programs working to address issues in the Flint community and provides information about how to connect with them.


Focus on Flint explores nine important issues facing the local community: Arts and Culture, Economy, Education, Health, Housing, Public Safety, Quality of Life, Standard of Living and Water. This section describes why each issue is critical to the community and summarizes work underway.

Lisa Pasbjerg, outreach and engagement coordinator at the Flint Registry, talks with community members about the organization at an event in downtown Flint.


“When I signed up for the Flint Registry two years ago, I was immediately informed about different resources available throughout the community, and I had the opportunity to listen to speakers brought in to discuss different topics affecting the city. The Registry is important because it empowers people to want to be advocates and speak up for what’s right.”

— Danielle Snell


Since July 2016, the city of Flint’s water system has been tested to ensure that both lead and copper levels are within allowable levels. For the past seven years, water has tested below federal action levels. Testing above allowable levels would require a number of water treatment and public notification protocols. Despite this good news, pipe replacement is still underway, no one has been held accountable for the decisions that led to the switch to river water, and lawsuits have yet to yield compensation for residents. All of this results in lingering negative effects from the crisis, including a lack of trust in systems and institutions.


The city of Flint will continue to inspect service lines in the public rights-of-way — the city-owned spaces between sidewalks and curbs — to determine if they are made of lead. The city is required to notify residents when lead service lines are discovered. However, to complete lead service line replacement, residents must give consent for city of Flint contractors to access their homes and must be present at the scheduled time. All work is done at no cost to residents. The city of Flint has completed outreach and attempted to obtain consent from over 31,000 households. Lead line replacement resumed on April 30. Those who still want to take advantage of the opportunity should call 810-410-1133.

The McKenzie Patrice Croom Flint Community Lab at the Flint Development Center offers free drinking water testing to Flint residents. This state-of-the-art lab tests drinking water for lead and copper. Outreach staff work with households to collect samples and then provide information about test results and related resources, such as access to water filters, in-home repair programs and health care.

Two construction workers replace a water pipe in a residential neighborhood.
PHOTO: CRISTINA WRIGHTWorkers replace service lines in Flint.


Mott grantees and other nonprofit organizations helped lay the groundwork for elevating lead pipe replacement as a federal priority in response to the Flint water crisis. In 2021, the Biden administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included $15 billion for lead service line replacement in the nation’s most impacted communities. Service lines connect the municipal water system to an individual home, business or other facility. In 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule that would require water systems across the country to replace most lead service lines within 10 years.

Municipalities across the country are exploring water affordability models through which the cost of water would not exceed a certain percentage of household income. Progress has been made on developing a water assistance program in Detroit that would end water shutoffs for low-income residents. There are currently conversations about developing a statewide program to reduce the cost of water for Michigan residents and provide temporary assistance to qualified residents.

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