On August 25, 2020, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced that $10 million in new funding is available to support affordable housing and community revitalization efforts in communities across the state.
Starting immediately, municipalities, counties and land banks may apply for grants through the state’s Strong Communities Program, a new program that assists local government agencies with the acquisition, maintenance, rehabilitation and demolition of abandoned residential properties in their communities.
The program is funded by Governor Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the first capital plan in nearly a decade.
“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.
“This is why IHDA is committed to helping Illinois cities and towns as they tackle their local housing needs. Over three funding rounds of the Strong Communities Program we expect to finance the rehabilitation of an estimated 1,000 abandoned homes and the demolition of an additional 500 blighted properties that are beyond repair,” she added.
Created in 2020, the Strong Communities Program provides grants of up to $250,000 to local government agencies to return vacant residential properties to productive and taxable use through rehabilitation. In cases where properties are beyond repair and negatively impacting neighboring residences, the program may also provide funds for demolition. The program will also reimburse municipalities for tree, shrub and debris removal, lot treatment and greening, and other reasonable costs associated with returning blighted properties to productive use.
The Strong Communities Program is available statewide. Applicants must be a municipality, county, or land bank located in the State of Illinois. However, a county or municipality may join with other counties or municipalities and together submit a single application, and regional planning commissions are eligible to apply on behalf of the governments they serve.
The grants are funded by Governor Pritzker’s bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan and will leverage IHDA’s ongoing state- and federally-funded initiatives to increase property values, create jobs, help reduce crime, generate additional tax revenue and attract further community investment in under-served communities around the state. A total of $30 million in grant funding will be awarded through the program over three application rounds.
For any questions about the application process, applicants should contact IHDA’s Community Affairs Department at SCPinfo@ihda.org.
The application will remain open until September 28, 2020 at 3 p.m. CST.