Jacksonville Receives Portion of $19 Million IDHA Grants For Revitalization Efforts

By Benjamin Cox on September 21, 2023 at 9:14am

The City of Jacksonville’s continued fight against blighted properties just got a major boost from the state.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Board approved $19 million to support affordable housing and community revitalization efforts across Illinois, providing 68 units of local government and land bank authorities the grants through the Strong Communities Program. Communities were eligible to receive up to $750,000 through the program.

The City of Jacksonville received $562,000 through the program. City Planner Brian Nyberg says the city has already lined up the work to be done on vacant and abandoned properties around the city: “The money has to be used for vacant and abandoned properties. It can be used for acquisition, rehabilitation, and demolition. It is for the City of Jacksonville only, but we will be using the [Two Rivers] Land Bank to administer the grant. We will be using some Land Bank properties. The application for the grant included properties that the Land Bank has already acquired. It’s also some properties that the city has ownership of. We also will, in the very near future, be using a realtor to sell the Land Bank properties. All of this is coming together pretty quickly. I probably could have spent three times the amount we received on some of the vacant and abandoned properties in Jacksonville.”

The SCP program funds reimburse applicants for costs related to the acquisition, rehabilitation and maintenance of abandoned residential properties and may also include reimbursements for tree, shrub and debris removal, lot treatment and greening and other reasonable construction costs associated with returning vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated properties to productive use.

The grants are funded by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan and will leverage IHDA’s ongoing state and federally funded initiatives to increase property values, create jobs, help reduce crime, generate additional tax revenue, and attract further community investment in underserved communities around the state. A total of $30 million in grant funding has been awarded through over two application rounds.

Other city’s in the region receiving grants through the program include Adams County, Pittsfield, Quincy, Springfield, and Virden.