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afford hous 122220SPRINGFIELD – To bolster affordable housing opportunities across the state, $10 million in revitalization grant funding is available for municipalities through the Illinois Housing Development Authority Board.

Members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus championed the program during negotiations for the Rebuild Illinois construction plan.

 

“Quality, affordable housing is a fundamental human need. We negotiated the landmark, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan because we recognized it’s a need that government has the ability to play a critical role in providing,” said State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who chairs the Senate Appropriations II Committee. “Repurposing vacant buildings not only makes it easier for struggling families to put a roof over their head, but it also gives Downstate municipalities that have seen their budgets devastated by COVID-19 the opportunity to add value to their communities.”

 

“There are thousands of vacant lots across the state. Sadly, this includes hundreds in Rockford,” State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) said. “General maintenance on these properties cost the state and city millions of dollars each year. The money granted to Rockford and Winnebago County will give us a much needed opportunity to revitalize our community.”

“In a time of global pandemic, fiscal stability is so important to achieve and maintain, and this new program offers smart, solid investments to help a lot of people along the path toward achieving that,” State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) said. “It allows homes to be rebuilt and vacant land to be bought, which will in turn increase the value of neighboring homes. It even allows for cities like Elgin to purchase land and work with organizations like Habitat for Humanity to build new homes for needy families.”

The grants where made available after the Illinois Housing Development Authority Board approved $10 million in funding for the initiative. Awarded under the new Strong Communities Program (SCP), the initiative will provide municipalities across the state with funding for the attainment, maintenance, restoration and demolition of abandoned residential properties.

The program, which began in August, awards grants of up to $250,000 to local governments to return vacant residential properties to productive use. A total of $30 million in grant funding will eventually be awarded through multiple funding rounds.

SCP Funding will reimburse municipalities for acquisition, rehabilitation, maintenance and other costs related to returning abandoned properties to a useable state. Program funds may also be used for demolition in cases where properties are beyond repair and negatively impacting neighboring residences.