afford hous2 122220SPRINGFIELD – To bolster affordable housing opportunities Downstate, $200,000 in revitalization grant funding has been made available to the City of Springfield through the Illinois Housing Development Authority Board.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) 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 Manar, 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.”

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.