Grants available for blighted housing

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(Julie Wu)

$10 million to fund rehab, demolition of vacant, abandoned housing

By PETER HANCOCK

Capitol News Illinois

phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com

The Illinois Housing Development Authority is now accepting applications for grants to address vacant and abandoned housing throughout the state.

“Blight affects many communities, large and small across Illinois, and it is critical that municipalities have the tools they need to address the economic and social impact that vacant homes continue to impose in neighborhoods throughout the state,” IHDA executive director Kristin Faust said in a news release. “This is why IHDA is committed to helping Illinois cities and towns as they tackle their local housing needs.”

Funding for the grants comes from the state’s Strong Communities Program, which was established earlier this year through funding from the state’s Rebuild Illinois capital plan. A total of $30 million will be awarded through the program over three application periods, including $10 million available in the first wave.

The agency expects that over all three rounds, the program will finance the rehabilitation of approximately 1,000 abandoned homes and the demolition of another 500 blighted properties deemed beyond repair.

Grants will be awarded in amounts of up to $250,000 to local government agencies to return residential properties to productive and taxable use, or for demolition, IHDA said. The program will also reimburse municipalities for removing trees, shrubs and debris, conducting lot treatment and greening, and other costs associated with returning blighted properties to a productive state.

Cities, counties and land banks located in Illinois are eligible to apply for the grants. Cities and counties may also submit joint applications. Regional planning commissions are also eligible to apply on behalf of the units of government they serve.

The current application window will remain open until 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28. Information about how to apply is available through the IHDA website, www.ihda.org/mycommunity/revitalization-programs.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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