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HOUSING

New home construction stands to improve the amount of adequate, affordable housing in rural Illinois and help rural communities attract and retain a strong workforce. The Governor’s Rural Affairs Council and member agencies support several programs designed to keep a roof over the head of everyone in rural Illinois.

In June 2006, Governor Blagojevich signed the Comprehensive Housing Planning Act, which codifies the Housing Task Force and comprehensive housing plan through 2016. The 2006 Housing Task Force’s annual report, titled, On the Road to Successstressed (1) coordination of state resources to support affordable housing and services for priority populations; (2) preservation and rehabilitation of affordable housing; and (3) programs to support long-term homeownership for Illinois working families.

The Housing Development Authority’s (IHDA) Home Modification pilot program helps low-income seniors and persons with disabilities afford basic home modifications. Five awards totaling $670,000 went to local governments or nonprofit agencies working in Adams, Brown, Henderson, Jackson, Jefferson, Macon, Monroe, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Schuyler, and Warren counties.

With the help of the IHDA, teams in Marion, Metropolis, and Monmouth will receive training and technical assistance from the Corporation for Supportive Housing’s (CSH) Supportive Housing Institute.

In 2006, the IHDA Board approved more than $12 million to fund local single-family ownership and rehabilitation programs in more than 40 rural communities. More than 2,200 households benefited from IHDA’s Mortgage Revenue Bond and Mortgage Credit Certificate programs for first-time homebuyers.

Through IHDA’s Housing Trust Fund, the Homeownership Coalition for Persons with Disabilities received $34,000 to provide eight persons with physical or developmental disabilities or mental illness with down payment assistance and homeownership counseling in the Carbondale area.

IHDA’s Rural Housing Initiative provides low-interest IHDA loans through participating local lenders to first time home buyers, and USDA-Rural Development provides a loan guarantee to replace the need and cost of mortgage insurance.

In 2006, the IHDA Board approved financing and tax credit allocations of approximately $47 million for 17 rental housing projects for family, elderly, homeless, and special needs populations in rural Illinois communities. This funding created and preserved over 950 units of affordable housing for low-income rural communities. Examples include:

Manteno Homeless Veterans Program

Developed in partnership with the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and located on the Manteno VA Hospital campus, this development will provide permanent supportive housing to 15 Illinois veterans with disabilities and/or veterans who have experienced homelessness. Residents will also be trained to re-enter the workforce. Other funding in the project includes grants from HUD’s Supportive Housing Program and the Federal Home Loan Bank.

Brown Shoe Factory Lofts

This conversion of a vacant factory will provide 47 live-near work units in downtown Litchfield. A nonprofit subsidiary of the county housing authority is part owner. The City of Litchfield has committed cash and securities to the project. The Montgomery County Housing Authority will manage the building.

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