City of Quincy awarded $1.9 million Neighborhood Stabilization Grant
8 months, 1 week ago by Denise Donley
The grant will be used for a three part project by the City to serve low to moderate income populations
The City of Quincy was recently awarded a $1.9 million Neighborhood Stabilization Grant to revitalize and stabilize old neighborhoods. The grant will be used for a three part project by the City to serve low to moderate income populations. To gather this information, the City used census tracking numbers and found that the targeted group are mostly located in the northwest part of Quincy. The city applied for the grant, which was made up of stimulus funds, in May 2009, and officials learned the City would receive the award in September 2009.
Director of Planning and Development Chuck Bevelheimer says it's taken so long to get started on the project because of all the agencies they've had to work with had to get everything approved and the houses had to be built to a certain standard.
Beginning the program, the City identified properties that they could obtain or already had obtained judicial deed. These included properties that were structural sound but would need to be completely renovated. Bevelheimer says sometimes the City ended up with buildings just because the owners had abandoned them.
The City has about 12 properties that they've been working on with the grant money from this program. Two houses are completed and currently for sale at 109 Lind and 622 North 7th St, while an additional two are in the construction. Properties are sold to low to moderate income residents to provide additional housing, to improve older neighborhoods and improve property value. Counseling is also made mandatory for those who purchase these homes to make sure the new home owners understand the extra/miscellaneous costs in owning a house.
Bevelheimer says this project has been somewhat of a management headache to work with because these properties are deteriorating and need to be gutted, but he adds this has been a unique and interesting process and improves the neighborhood.
The city hired Elaine Davis, the Housing Specialist with Two Rivers Regional Council, to market these properties and head the sales aspects. She says she helps get peoples' credit where it's suppose to be so that they may be able purchase a house a year down the line. Davis adds she thinks the program is "Fantastic! It is great for the city of Quincy for the neighborhoods."
In addition to rehabbing houses, part of the $1.9 million is going to be used to provide housing for the West Central Illinois Center for Independent Living. A four unit dwelling on 515 513 North 5th St. will be built and designed to accommodate those with disabilities. Construction hasn't begun yet, and the city inspectors will need to evaluate the buildings to make sure they are code compliant.
The City also told the YWCA they would try to provide four units for women in transition. Two properties are set aside at 1238 North 8th and 1300 North 5th for this part of the project.
The City has been working with S Crider Construction & Supply Company to construct the houses. Bevelheimer says "The idea from the beginning was to hire local Quincy contractors and provide more jobs for our area." He adds, "All projects should be completed in about a year from now."
Quincy hired Thomas Tomaszewski with MECCA company to write the grant and serve as the contracting manager for the program. The Illinois Housing Development Authority is the agency that administers the program to create and preserve affordable housing.