The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the recipients of the 2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Housing Rehabilitation on Monday, March 8.
Among the communities awarded was the city of Litchfield, who will receive $542,000 in grant funding to assist with local housing improvement projects.
“The Litchfield Economic Development Office, in partnership with DCEO, is committed to addressing community housing needs and assisting low-income residents to have and maintain a safe place to live, as well as to improve neighborhoods,” said Litchfield City Administrator/Economic Development Director Tonya Flannery.
Through grants, the city can leverage federal/state dollars to fund projects that otherwise would not be accomplished. This grant will allow homes to be brought up to code, improve living situations and quality of life for residents.
As part of the grant project, the city of Litchfield accepted resident applications last fall and will begin reviewing those soon. Residents who wish to submit an application that has not already done so may contact city hall at 217-324-8146.
Those who have submitted applications are asked to be patient as the city must first receive the grant agreement and the environmental study must be completed. Residents should receive a letter in approximately three weeks.
The city was assisted by Tammy Campbell of John H. Crawford and Associates.
Through the program, DCEO will award $6.8 million in assistance for communities to invest in over 135 housing improvement projects.
“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.”
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.
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.
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 application deadline for the 2021 program is Tuesday, August 3, 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 Tuesday, March 30. To register to attend, please visit DCEO’s website at www2.illinois.gov/dceo.