SPRINGFIELD – To bolster affordable housing opportunities Downstate, $123,400 in revitalization grant funding has been made available to the Village of Worden through the Illinois Housing Development Authority Board.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) championed the program during negotiations for the Rebuild Illinois construction plan.

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“Quality, affordable housing is a fundamental human need. We negotiated the landmark, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan because we recognized it’s a need that government has the ability to play a critical role in providing,” said Manar, who chairs the Senate Appropriations II Committee. “Repurposing vacant buildings not only makes it easier for struggling families to put a roof over their head, but it also gives Downstate municipal leaders the opportunity to add value to their communities following the devastation COVID-19 has wrought.”

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The grants where made available after the Illinois Housing Development Authority Board approved $10 million in funding for the initiative. Awarded under the new Strong Communities Program (SCP), the initiative will provide the Village of Worden with funding for the attainment, maintenance, restoration and demolition of abandoned residential properties.

“State assistance programs have the greatest impact when they are implemented in an effective and efficient manner,” Manar said. “Thankfully, the Village of Worden has the leadership necessary for this task in Mayor Preston Hall. He took the initiative to advocate for his community, ensuring it can benefit from this program and he deserves recognition.”

The program, which began in August, awards grants of up to $250,000 to local governments to return vacant residential properties to productive use. A total of $30 million in grant funding will eventually be awarded through multiple funding rounds.

SCP Funding will reimburse municipalities for acquisition, rehabilitation, maintenance and other costs related to returning abandoned properties to a useable state. Program funds may also be used for demolition in cases where properties are beyond repair and negatively impacting neighboring residence

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