Windsor Seeking Funds From Morgan County for Tendick Street Permanent Supportive Housing Development

By Benjamin Cox on December 21, 2023 at 10:15am

The Morgan County Commissioners were presented with a project meant to help the county and the City of Jacksonville with those experiencing long-term homelessness.

Mike Niehaus, president and CEO of Windsor Development Group, brought a presentation to the commissioners on Monday about seeking a 10% local match from area stakeholders for a $6.2 million development of a 24-unit apartment complex for Permanent Supportive Housing for those experiencing or are near homelessness.

The $620,000 match would go towards a 90% grant from the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s federal money that would help build the project. The project is currently in the grant-writing stage, with several other communities seeking the competitive grants.

Niehaus has already secured $200,000 in contributions from the City of Jacksonville. Niehaus says having more support from the county would help the project score more points on its grant application with IHDA: “I’m here asking for whatever money the county can come up with. I’d love to see $100,000. Not to get too far into the weeds, there is an Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit that’s available for donations. So, when the City of Jacksonville donates $200,000, there is a $100,000 donation tax credit that can be sold for 80 cents on the dollar. Municipalities can’t use it anyway and neither can the county, and so that is then donated back to the development. So, the $200,000 that the City of Jacksonville contributed turns into $280,000 against the $700,000 we need. If we do another $100,000 from the county, we are up to $420,000. We would then have a gap, as they call it – the money we need to raise yet, of $280,000.”

Niehaus says he’s also trying to secure some funding from Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Illinois for a portion of the match, but he’s not sure how much the insurance company is going to kick in to help meet the match goal: “I’ve been in contact, if not twice a week but once a week, with Blue Cross-Blue Shield. We originally asked them for $700,000 between three different projects that they could contribute to, and we are down to now asking for about $215,000, which hopefully they feel is a lot better deal. I’m hoping to find out from them before the application for the grant. If not, we’ve got other avenues to go to and try to find the money. Right now, if we can get [the county’s] $100,000 donation, we are about $420,000 away from our goal.”

Niehaus says the funding is only one-third of the equation for the grant application, which is due in 3 weeks: “One third of the equation is the matching funds. The other two-thirds are being able to pay the rent to the Housing Authority. The Morgan County Housing Authority has given us some Section 8 vouchers, which will get us another 10 points on the grant application, which is very important. The other things is we have found a good service provider in Locust Street Resources out of Carlinville. They have been in business since 1974. They have a $4.5 million budget, and they have been dealing with this clientele since that time, and actually, I believe, they have been helping people who have more problems than the clientele that will be eventually living on Tendick Street. So, I really think they are a really good owner/service provider for this project. The entire project is coming together pretty well.”

Windsor recently completed a similar-sized project on Park Street in Springfield. Niehaus says that the site manager for Park Street recently received the keys and the new development was already more than halfway to capacity, with the expectation that it will be full by the first week in January. Niehaus, says despite Jacksonville’s smaller size, he would expect that the Tendick Street site would experience a similar fill up once it was built.

The Morgan County Commissioners are expected to make a decision on any kind of donation to the project at their next scheduled board meeting in January.