Public Announcements

 

Aurora Housing Authority names new executive director

The Aurora Housing Authority has selected a new executive director, after nearly a year under interim leadership.

Ralph Jordan is set to come to the Aurora Housing Authority from the Indianapolis Housing Agency, where he is chief operating officer, housing authority officials said in a statement. He will take over leadership of the agency as it seeks to remove the “troubled” label it has received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Alton Housing Authority pursing federal program for renovation tax credits

ALTON – The Alton Housing Authority Board of Commissioners is preparing to apply for a federal program that could lead to obtaining tax credits for modernizing its housing units.

The board’s three votes at Tuesday’s monthly meeting gave the go-ahead for the AHA to apply for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. Once HUD approves an application, public housing agencies and owners of HUD-assisted properties can convert units to project-based, Section 8 programs.

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Fairview Homes demolition approved, starts in November

Demolition of the Fairview Homes will begin in November, the Housing Authority of Joliet announced Tuesday.

Fairview Homes is the last of HAJ’s family public housing projects after two others were demolished in recent years and replaced with mixed-income developments and more modern housing.

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Urbana council gives initial OK to plan to create housing for disabled

URBANA — The city council gave initial approval Monday to an effort that could create new housing for disabled people.

The Housing Authority of Champaign County wants to apply for a grant from the Illinois Housing Development Authority to establish 24 units of permanent supportive housing for people with mental and physical disabilities.

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Rent out of reach for many in Peoria

A full-time worker earning the minimum wage can’t afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in Peoria, Tazewell or Woodford counties.

This finding comes from a national report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and Housing Action Illinois. “Out of Reach 2018: The High Cost of Housing” calculates that a worker must earn $14.96 per hour to afford the fair market rate rent of $778 per month for a modest two-bedroom in the Tri-County Area without spending more than 30 percent of their income on that and utilities.

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Illinois' housing agency extends hand to help Cairo develop 'realistic housing goals'

CAIRO — Illinois’ housing agency is providing robust technical assistance to help the city of Cairo identify local housing needs, and develop a plan “to achieve its vision of growth over the long term.”

“IHDA’s community revitalization specialists will be meeting with Cairo officials, educational institutions, local businesses and other stakeholders to strategize future planning and investment for the city,” said Andrew Field, a spokesman for the Illinois Housing Development Authority, in a statement. 

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Affordable housing project begins

VIRGINIA — Ground was officially broken Thursday for a new affordable housing project on the southwest edge of Virginia.

Construction has begun on 20 two- and three-bedroom, single-family houses on seven acres next to Jenny Marr Dunaway Memorial Park. The houses are scheduled to be completed in spring 2019.

“This will be an amazing opportunity for families in Virginia,” Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Audra Hamernik said in a news release. “These are critically needed homes that will go a long way to address the pent-up demand for family housing in the community.”

Developed by the Cass County Housing Authority and Windsor Development Group, the project is financed largely by federal tax credits awarded by IHDA, which will generate over $5.4 million in private capital to offset the cost of building the new houses. The development will bring rental options to an area that has seen little multifamily development over the last decade and where more than 40 percent of all rental housing was built before 1960.

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Teresa Greenstreet of Warren County Housing Authority Receives the 2017 IAHA David W. Morgan Memorial Award

 

Teresa Greenstreet with Warren County Housing Authority Receives the 2017 IAHA David W. Morgan Memorial Award.

Teresa Greenstreet began her employment at Warren County Housing Authority, WCHA, in October 1978, occupying every office from secretary/receptionist to that of Executive Director. Teresa was elevated to the position of Executive Director in the spring of 1998.

Challenges always surround Executive Directors, but Teresa faced an even larger uphill battle as she watched occupancy rates plummet following the departure of many foreign workers at Farmland Foods in Monmouth who called Lincoln Homes, the PHA’s family site in Monmouth, home. The mass exodus, combined with the rough reputation the Housing Authority site was trying to overcome since its inception in 1970 seemed insurmountable. As many as 40 to 45 of the 80 units were not only abruptly empty, but dirty, and needed a complete turnaround for re-rent. The occupancy rate at the remote site in Roseville fell below 50%, with some units empty for years.  An 8-unit site in Kirkwood, IL was never full and in need of repair. And to add to her fate, 2 months after taking the reins as Executive Director, Teresa was introduced to a new HUD plan called REAC. Yes, HUD is actually going to come to your PHA, inspect and grade the site visit, upon which your future funding will depend. The situation was grim.

Knowing the only way to pull things together was to get organized and get involved, both of which Teresa did and did well. Leading by example, it was all hands-on board at Lincoln Homes…cleaning, painting, and repairing until they were all considered ready to rent. REAC scored Warren County Housing Authority at 98%, its first of six consecutive designations in the high performer category. Teresa, in an effort to bring stability and the towns respect back to 800 South 9th Street in Monmouth, worked in tandem with the occupancy manager, and tore into the application and recertification processes, updating any and all language, and strictly enforcing the existing rules and regulations, some of which ended in evictions.  Setting her sights on Roseland Homes and Kirkland Homes, Teresa spearheaded the direction of the Modernization Program, now known as the Capital Fund Program, towards the improvement and marketability of those two locations, replacing lighting, driveways, sidewalks, adding playgrounds and storage sheds. It didn’t happen overnight, but it all started to work. Apartments began to fill with people who were once afraid of those very some properties. Headstart located a facility at Lincoln Homes, an after-school program began at Lincoln Homes, a summer feeding program for kids began at Lincoln Homes, and about the only thing missing is the office once occupied by the Monmouth Police Department, because it is no longer needed.  Teresa once told me (Dennis Schumacher) about 10 years ago, that if there were drugs or guns in Lincoln Homes, she didn’t know about it. What a bold, but accurate statement, something not many of her statewide counterparts could say.

Her office habits are the same. Get to work early, be the last one to leave but always be ready to help the staff who can’t work through something. Everyone came out of a meeting with Teresa with options on whatever the situation required.  That included her Executive Director counterparts throughout the state, who after time, realized who to go to for an opinion, or help. Our auditor lauded her in private and public before our Board of Commissioners, who were assured each year that the books were in order and there is more money in the bank than before. Her audits, per Andy Zenk, of Zenk and Associates, were the gold standard.

Sometimes Teresa and I didn’t see eye to eye. She is a bit of a tree hugger, I like sharpened chain saws She likes to watch the reserves grow, I like to spend money. She takes the stairs, I take the elevator. Those differences worked well, thought, as we always had good conversation and thought prior to decision-making.

Every staff member respected Teresa and enjoyed her company, as did her fellow administrative and maintenance staffs throughout Illinois.  In October, Teresa will celebrate her 39th year on staff at Warren County Housing. She has a habit of making things last as she just celebrated her 45th wedding anniversary.

 

Teresa and Denny

Jerry Gille, Dennis Schumacher, Teresa Greenstreet and Joann Pink

 

Macoupin Housing Services cuts ribbons

Representatives from Macoupin Housing Services (MHS) and the Macoupin County Housing Authority (MCHA) cut the ribbons on three tax credit housing developments in the county at ceremonies held Sept. 23.

Home tours were available to area residents and local dignitaries at the 14 homes built in Staunton, nine in Bunker Hill and 15 in Gillespie. The homes were built through a low-income housing tax credit created under the 1986 Tax Reform Act. It gives incentives for the use of private equity in the development of affordable housing aimed at low-income Americans. The program is administered at the state level through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), which receives a fixed allocation of credits based on population.

The homes have to meet strict requirements with regard to construction standards and energy efficiency.

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