COLLINSVILLE — The Illinois Housing Development Authority has dedicated nearly $43 million to create permanent supportive housing for vulnerable populations in the state. It’s the sixth time the state has funded such projects.
The money will help create, rehab or restore 172 affordable housing units for low-income individuals or families and other groups, said Christine Moran, IDHA’s director of multifamily financing.
“We’re serving our most vulnerable populations,” she said. “Homeless, at risk of homelessness, persons with disabilities. It’s just giving those folks an opportunity to have safe, decent affordable housing.”
Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said homelessness is not just someone who is living on the street, but those without a permanent address or someone feeling or attempting to flee violent situations.
"These could be individuals who no longer have a place to stay and are now having to stay with family or friends," he said.
Of the approved 172 statewide units, 22 are in Collinsville and will serve veterans in the area.
This expansion builds on the 600 housing units that were preserved in previous funding rounds from the state.
“Housing is the benchmark for stability,” she said. “Having a place to go home to every night is really important in the success of people’s lives.”
The program combines permanent and affordable housing with local services. In Collinsville, residents will have access to Chestnut Health Systems and the Veterans Assistance Commission of Madison County.
“Everyone deserves equitable access to housing, healthcare and the support networks they need to live successful lives that are integrated in the community,” said IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust in a statement. “Supportive housing is a cost-effective solution that ensures our most vulnerable residents live with stability and autonomy.”
The state sought smaller developments for this round of funding because those kinds of projects are difficult to finance through Illinois’ low-income housing tax credit program, Moran said.
“It’s been demonstrated projects with less than 25 units are not really appropriate for financing based on the cost and complexity with the tax credit program,” she said.
Most of the 172 units will be filled by the housing development authority’s statewide referral network, which connects vulnerable populations to available supportive housing.
At least a quarter of the housing units recently approved by the state must be filled by people in the referral network, Moran said.
Eric Schmid covers the Metro East for St. Louis Public Radio as part of the journalism grant program Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. Follow Eric on Twitter: @EricDSchmid.
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