HousingAuthorityEAST ST. LOUIS – State Senator Christopher Belt joined the Illinois Housing Development Authority in announcing $15 million in available grant funding to support affordable housing and community revitalization efforts across the state.

“Community revitalization is essential for the health and well-being of our state,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “It is important that we invest in the people and communities that have been most impacted by disinvestment and neglect.”

The funding is available under the second round of IHDA’s Strong Communities Program. The Strong Communities Program provides grants of up to $750,000 to help Illinois municipalities, counties and land banks address local affordable housing needs and community revitalization efforts. The program aims to return vacant residential properties to productive and taxable use through rehabilitation and provide funds for demolition in cases where properties are beyond repair and negatively impacting neighboring residences. As a result, SCP will help to increase property values, create jobs, help reduce crime, generate additional tax revenue and attract further community investment.

The grants are funded by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan and will leverage IHDA’s ongoing state- and federally-funded revitalization initiatives in underserved communities around the state. A total of $30 million in grant funding will be awarded through the program over the two application rounds.

“As our infrastructure ages, it is imperative our housing stock receive the care and upgrades necessary to keep them viable,” said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust. “If the properties are abandoned or vacant, it is on the city or county to maintain them at the cost of the taxpayers. The Strong Communities Program is helping offset some of the cost burden to help local governments invest in their cities by revitalizing these properties.”

A link to the application can be found here. Applications will be accepted through 3 p.m. on Wednesday June 7, 2023.