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April 7, 2009

Statewide Program to Award $15M to Help Low-Income Residents Afford Rent Payments
Illinois starts second year of Rental Housing Support Program

CHICAGO – Illinois’ innovative Rental Housing Support Program is entering a second year of helping low-income residents by providing nearly $15 million in additional grants to agencies and landlords across the state to lower rents to affordable levels.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the state agency responsible for financing affordable housing, will distribute $10 million this year to continue one of the nation’s largest state rental assistance programs. Local housing authorities, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations with affordable housing experience apply for grant funding. The local agencies then work with property owners to offer affordable units to eligible tenants across the state. As a result of the grants, low-income residents who live in the units pay a reduced rent.

An additional $4.7 million will provide a guarantee of long-term rental assistance (15 years) to four developments to keep a portion of their units affordable under the Rental Housing Support Program’s Long Term Operating Support Projects.

“During these challenging economic times, it’s more important than ever to continue the Rental Housing Support Program after a successful first year. Providing affordable housing for low-income seniors and families, and people with disabilities or other special needs is a top housing priority for the State of Illinois. This program fulfills this goal, and further positions Illinois as a national leader in introducing creative affordable housing initiatives,” said DeShana L. Forney, IHDA Executive Director.

The program is designed to serve residents who earn 30 percent or less of the area median income. For example, a family of four in the Rockford area could earn up to $19,080. Tenants who qualify will pay rent equal to about 30 percent of their monthly income, while the grant money will go to pay the remainder so residents can continue to live in their communities.  

The program, which IHDA oversees, is funded through a $10 fee created in July 2005 and collected from real estate document recordings. Under the program, the subsidies are applied to specific units for between three and 15 years to help bring long-term affordability to communities and stability to the lives of Illinois residents on limited incomes.
Property owners and residents seeking more information can contact the local organization area listed below or visit www.ihda.org under “Multifamily Programs.” Landlords interested in the program can contact April Lasker, program manager, at (312) 836-5200. Residents can call (800) 942-8439 to learn more.

Please note the City of Chicago also allocates money through its Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund for its Rental Housing Support Program. Contact the city’s Community Development Department at (312) 742-8400.

IHDA’s Rental Housing Support Program owes much of its continued success to the strong partnerships forged with community-based agencies and property owners.
“The Rental Housing Support Program definitely offers more affordable options for our county. It’s providing another avenue for affordable housing assistance that people need; it’s putting a roof over their heads; and it’s taking people who have lost their homes off the streets,” said Randy McGill, Executive Director of Kankakee County Housing Authority.

The following lists the administering agencies:

Local Administering Agency      Service Area      Grant Amount       Estimated households served
CEDA       Suburban Cook County      $1,381,260      36

DuPage County Housing Authority      DuPage County (excluding Aurora)      $1,381,260      38

Housing Authority of Champaign County     Champaign, Rantoul and Urbana      $637,477     19

Housing Choice Partners      Suburban Cook County      $1,144,678      32

Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies 

Winnebago, Boone, Bureau, Carroll, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Ogle, Putnam, Stark, Whiteside, Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union counties      $1,498,824      54

Kankakee County Housing Authority     Kankakee County     $313,840     10

Kendall County Housing Authority      Kendall County (excluding Aurora, Joliet) and Grundy County $987,336      25

Lazarus House  Kane County      $692,802      19

Madison County Community Development   Madison County    $783,367      32

City of Rockford     Rockford     $1,179,156      47

TOTAL      $10 million                 312

The following developments also will receive $4.7 million total over 15 years to help pay rent as part of the Rental Housing Support Program: Bradford in Waterloo (Monroe County), $870,177 to keep seven units affordable; Towerview Apartments in McHenry (McHenry County), $1,129,233 to keep eight units affordable; Mt. Vernon Senior Apartments in Mt. Vernon (Jefferson County), $1,410,195 to keep 15 units affordable; and Haven House in Metropolis (Massac County), $1,283,700 to keep 14 units affordable. Homes at Bradford, Towerview and Haven House made affordable under the program will serve people with special needs. 

About the Illinois Housing Development Authority
IHDA (www.ihda.org) is a self-supporting state agency that finances the creation and the preservation of affordable housing across Illinois.  Since its creation in 1967, IHDA has allocated more than $9.67 billion and financed more than 204,000 affordable units across the state.  IHDA accomplishes its mission through a number of federal and state funding sources including the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits Fund, the allocation of federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and HOME Investment Partnership funds. IHDA is also a bonding authority, and independently sells bonds, based on its own good credit, to finance affordable housing in Illinois.


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