Grants to support improvements for over 135 housing rehabilitation projects in non-metro areas
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the recipients of the 2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Housing Rehabilitation. Through the program, DCEO will award $6.8 million in assistance for communities to invest in over 135 housing improvement projects. For communities that are still interested in applying, DCEO has issued another round of funding for the 2021 program which makes $7 million in project funds available to make additional homes healthy and safe to live in.
“Ensuring Illinois residents have access to a stable housing environment is not only a priority for my administration – it’s a moral obligation,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Through the Housing Rehabilitation program, we’re putting funds into the hands of communities experiencing some of the highest levels of poverty in our state and empowering them to make investments needed to keep their residents in homes that are safe and secure. We are proud that the program will help serve another 135 households in need this year. We continue to encourage more local governments to submit for this funding that will not only help more residents in need, but that will in turn lift up our communities.”
Housing rehabilitation grants are designed to assist low-to-moderate income homeowners with improvements to ensure safe and sanitary living conditions. Eligible uses of funds range from structural work to electrical, plumbing, new appliances, flooring, ADA, and accessibility accommodations, and more. Homeowners work through the local unit of government to apply for the grant. Up to $50,000 may be spent on each home.
“DCEO is committed to addressing the most urgent economic development needs facing our communities – including helping low-income Illinois residents have and maintain a safe place to live,” said DCEO Acting Director Sylvia Garcia. “Through the Housing Rehabilitation program, we are leveraging federal dollars to fund projects that will not only bring homes up to code but will stabilize neighborhoods and improve quality of life for communities across the state.”
2020 Housing Grant Recipients:
• City of Carterville – $500,000
• City of Casey – $498,279
• City of Hamilton – $550,000
• City of Herrin – $542,000
• City of Litchfield – $542,000
• City of Marion – $542,000
• City of Neoga – $550,000
• City of Orient – $500,000
• City of Sesser – $500,000
• City of West Frankfort – $500,000
• Village of Bradley – $550,000
• Village of Prairie City – $464,000
• Village of Valier – $542,000
The CDBG Housing Rehabilitation project is funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These state administered funds are earmarked exclusively for non-metropolitan communities that do not receive CDBG entitlement funding from HUD.
All grants will fund housing improvement projects for investment in low- and moderate-income households exclusively. Local governments applying on behalf of homeowners are required to demonstrate a need for housing rehabilitation in their town, with projects prioritized based on community impact, project readiness and coordination with other local resources to help ignite the maximum impact of housing improvements.
“The pandemic has exacerbated the challenges many communities confront in ensuring safe, affordable and sanitary housing for residents,” said State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg). “These grants are an investment in our municipalities, helping to rehabilitate and improve housing in our neighborhoods for a stronger community infrastructure.”
Local governments will have two years to complete the projects and are responsible for coordinating contractors to perform the work. For low- to moderate-income families eligible for the projects, this ensures the homeowner does not incur debt.
Since the program was launched, almost $175 million in funds have been directed to support over 3,600 housing upgrade projects. New recipients of the program in 2020 include the Villages of Bradley and Litchfield.
“Through the Housing Rehabilitation Grants program, Illinois is working to provide assistance to residents here in the Village of Bradley and to the most vulnerable homeowners across our state,” said Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Essex). “This program takes projects which have fallen into a state of disrepair and provides upgrades that will restore them to their maximum potential for the homeowner as well as the community.”
Each local community receiving the grant will evaluate homes requesting assistance for the program, with many prioritizing investments for homes owned by seniors or those with a disability. All homes must be single family owner occupied and prove they are in need of assistance based on income verification.
“The City of Sesser is a community with a rich history, and a lot of pride. But for too many of our residents – upkeep of older homes has been more they can handle, especially during trying economic times,” said Jason Ashmore, Mayor of the City of Sesser. “We’re grateful for the support of Governor Pritzker, the team at DCEO, and all of our local partners who worked on behalf of Sesser to submit for Community Development Block Grant dollars that will help repair and rebuild our older communities to make them safer for those who live there.”
The application deadline for the 2021 program is Tuesday, August 3rd, which makes another $7 million available for housing improvement projects in downstate cities and towns. Communities interested in applying for 2021 program should attend the Office of Community Development Housing Workshop, scheduled for March 30, 2021. To register to attend, please visit DCEO’s website.