North Chicago to use $1.5M grant on housing
By Judy Masterson firstname.lastname@example.org August 19, 2013 7:36PM
Updated: October 19, 2013 2:43AM
North Chicago is looking at a $1.5 million boost to its housing stock.
The windfall, to be managed by the non-profit Lake County Residential Development Corp., accounts for a fraction of the $25 billion secured by state attorneys general, the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from the nation’s largest banks as part of a national foreclosure settlement.
“We’ve been working cooperatively with the city to identify their desires and what they want developed, said Mary Ellen Tamasy, LCRDC executive director. “We’re going to focus on some very specific neighborhoods to acquire vacant and foreclosed properties.”
Illinois’s portion of the settlement is $70 million. In North Chicago, the money will be used to buy up and renovate abandoned houses near City Hall and the northeast part of the city. The plan includes the acquisition of foreclosed homes and the donation of properties already acquired by the city.
An estimated 20 rehabbed homes will be rented to low-income and special needs households or sold to low- to moderate-income households through a lease-to-purchase program. In addition, counseling will be provided to both tenants and lease-to-purchase homebuyers.
“I’m excited about it,” said North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham. “It’s a big plus for the city. I hope a lot of North Chicago residents take advantage of it.”
Rockingham also touted the jobs the revitalization project, estimated to total $3.8 million, will bring to the city. LCRDC is currently applying for additional sources of financing.
The revitalization plan is aimed at stabilizing blocks, lowering crime, and garnering neighborhood support for additional housing initiatives in North Chicago.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who announced the grants in late July, directed the $70 million in funding over the next three years to 54 housing and community revitalization efforts in areas hit hard by the florclosure crisis. choosing programs with demonstrated successes in struggling communities and those driven by partnerships between communities, governments and non-profits.
The funding is also expected to help attract new investment in neglected markets, which in turn will attract business interests and capital and spur new development.