People in Cass County could soon have another option for affordable housing

By Gary Scott on November 28, 2015 at 8:52am

Organizers with the Cass Affordable Housing Initiative recently made a presentation to the Virginia City Council regarding a four-million-dollar, 20-home housing project in that city.

The housing initiative’s chairman, Laymon Carter is also the chairman of the Cass County Housing Authority, but he tells WLDS-WEAI News funds to do this project didn’t come through public housing federal funding.

“The government hasn’t built affordable housing in 20 to 30 years. There’s just no funds available to do it anymore. So what they did was created a program utilizing IRS tax credits that allows large investors to put in huge amount of dollars throughout this country,” he says.

“And there’s a big push to do it all over this country because there’s a serious need for affordable housing for working families, and that’s what this is. And, Virginia was identified in Illinois as one of fourteen opportunity communities. It’s really exciting,” Carter adds.

According to Carter, the City of Virginia will need to annex seven acres of land, and the Housing Initiative will need to have control of the land by January.

“We set that date because the next application date is March of 2016. Getting control of a piece of property in January gives us time to finish the application and get everything in order so we don’t miss that March deadline. We’ve already missed next month’s deadline,” explains Carter.

“But we’re very excited. We’ve done preliminary scoring, and we’re well above 50. We’ve seen some applications already get granted with scores in the 40s. As far as annexation of the city, I don’t see any problems with the City of Virginia to be able to do that,” he continues.

Carter says the Cass Affordable Housing Initiative is partnering with Windsor Homes in Springfield on the project, and says they’ve worked together before on a housing complex in Beardstown.

You can listen to the full interview with Carter below.