ALTON - Alton Mayor David Goins laid out four areas of focus and the steps being taken or planned to address affordable housing in the city at the most recent Alton City Council meeting on April 12.

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“Our four main areas of focus in our housing strategy include strategic demolition, continuous rigorous code enforcement, looking at the infill housing development, and the possibility of growth through annexation,” Goins said.

He added the city has completed 45 demolitions since May of 2021, with several more slated for the near future. Goins said his administration has been “aggressive at taking down these properties as quickly as we can.”

As far as code enforcement, Goins said the city will utilize its Nuisance Abatement Task Force, including coordinated responses between the Alton Police and Building and Zoning Departments. He also said the city is considering setting up a Foreclosed Property Registry to “address the ill effects of vacant properties.”

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Planning and Development Director Greg Caffey added that the registry would be based on a future ordinance charging financial institutions a fee whenever they file foreclosure proceedings on a property, with the funds from these fees being used to combat other vacant properties around the city.

Regarding infill housing development, Goins said his administration would “continue efforts to partner with various development entities to construct new housing and renovate the existing housing stock.” He said the city would continue to allocate block grant funds to owner-occupied rehab programs and support the Alton Housing Authority’s public housing demolition and repositioning efforts.

“Our fourth focus will be on annexation, and the annexation of unincorporated areas is something that we are exploring and looking at as well,” Goins said. “That will allow future residential development. Additionally, what annexation will do is also include the absorption of existing subdivisions that could further expand the city’s tax base.

“We’re also in the early stages of meeting with a development company that does what they call ‘deconstruction’ of derelict houses and then repurposing them. This is in the early stages, we’ve just been talking and just scheduled a meeting, and so we’re going to continue exploring all opportunities in regards to taking care of our blighted housing and also repurposing those vacant lots for additional urban development, maybe community gardens, different things like that.”

Mayor Goins concluded by saying: “It’s a fluid work in progress, but we are working as fast and as hard as we can to make this city better and look better, and to take care of all these structures and the existing vacant properties that already exist because of the houses that we have torn down.”

A full recording from the April 12 meeting is available at the top of this story or on Mayor Goins begins discussing the city's housing strategy at 58:53.

More like this:

Nov 2, 2021 | Mayor Jones Signs Into Law $26.1 Million In HUD Grant Funding For Community Programs, LRA Maintenance And Economic Development

Mar 4, 2021 | Letter To The Editor: David Goins Is Intelligent/Hardworking Man Who Will Strive To Make Best Decisions For Alton

Dec 26, 2020 | Manar Announces $123,400 Grant To Support Affordable Housing In Worden

Dec 22, 2020 | Pritzker Administration Provides $10 Million In Community Revitalization Grants

Apr 25, 2023 | Several Property Demolitions Approved By Alton Committee Of The Whole

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