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Woodford Times - Peoria, IL
  • Affordable apartment program gets funding boost

  • More than 1,470 affordable apartments will be created or preserved for working families, seniors and people with disabilities in communities across the state, Gov. Pat Quinn announced Monday.
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  • More than 1,470 affordable apartments will be created or preserved for working families, seniors and people with disabilities in communities across the state, Gov. Pat Quinn announced Monday. The announcement is part of the governor's agenda to ensure quality affordable housing for working families, seniors and people with disabilities across Illinois. “Easing the cost of housing for hard-working families, seniors and people with disabilities is a priority in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “We must do everything we can to both increase and preserve quality affordable housing to help working families achieve housing stability and create thousands of jobs.” Financing for the apartments was approved from two sources – the federal low-income housing tax credit (Housing Credit) and the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s (IHDA) Preservation Now program. A new round of Housing Credit financing will support the construction and rehabilitation of 1,021 units in 16 developments in the areas of Chicago, Metro East, Springfield and Peoria. Under the state’s Preservation Now program, more than 450 units of affordable housing for hard-working families and seniors will be preserved in six developments located in Southern Illinois, Peoria and the Quad Cities. This combined financing will support an estimated 2,400 jobs statewide and local real estate tax and revenue will be generated to spur economic activity. Under Governor Quinn, the IHDA has financed the creation and preservation of more than 17,800 rental homes statewide. As the state’s housing finance agency, the IHDA allocates the federal Housing Credits through a competitive process to finance qualified affordable housing developments. With the recent approval of the IHDA board, developers will now seek private investment for the new developments. Work to build new housing or rehabilitate existing multifamily developments will generate construction and post-construction jobs. Construction is expected to begin by next spring. In 1986, Congress created the federal tax credit program to spur the development of affordable housing. It is widely considered the most productive affordable housing financing tool in the nation. The sale of federal housing credits to private investors generates equity, and this equity reduces the need for the developer to borrow money for the new development. This savings results in lower rents. This was the second round of funding under the Preservation Now program, which Quinn launched this year. Last month, the IHDA approved financing to preserve an additional 600 affordable rental units for seniors and people with disabilities in Chicago and Peoria, creating more than an estimated 500 jobs. Approximately $245 million in project-based rental subsidy will be preserved over the next 20 years as a result of Preservation Now, which provides funding through the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund and other resources. Trust Fund revenue is generated from half of the state real estate transfer fee. “Governor Quinn is a strong advocate for leveraging public-private partnerships to meet the affordable housing needs of the state’s low- to moderate-income residents,” IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. “The Housing Credit and Governor Quinn’s Preservation Now program effectively safeguard the affordability of these developments for decades.” To qualify for the affordable units, residents must earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), or $35,340 in the Chicago area, $32,280 in the Springfield area, or $33,240 in Madison County for a two-person household.
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