Low-income homeowners can get $20,000 for safety repairs

News-DemocratSeptember 30, 2013 

Illinois is offering up to $20,000 to low-income homeowners in need of emergency repairs to make their homes safe.

The Illinois Emergency Repair Program, funded through the Illinois Housing Development Authority, has $5 million to help more than 200 low-income homeowners, including seniors and people with disabilities, make repairs that will keep their homes habitable.

In the metro east area, 42 homeowners may qualify for a combined $1 million in assistance.

"The Illinois Emergency Repair Program furthers Governor Pat Quinn's commitment to sustain homeownership for low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities," IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney said. "Reinvestment in these homes will help decrease the financial burden of home maintenance, improve energy efficiency, improve the overall housing stock and create jobs in communities across the state."

Qualified low-income homeowners can apply for grants for repairs beginning in the spring. Some qualified repairs include roof work, HVAC systems, electrical, and plumbing.

To qualify, homeowners must earn no more than 80 percent of the area median income, or $49,850 for a three-person household in the East St. Louis area. More information will be available at www.ihda.org, and through the agencies and organizations offering the grant assistance.

The program is funded through the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which is generated from half of the state real estate transfer fee.

The following organizations will be in charge of allocating the grant money:

*BCMW Community Services (Bond, Clinton, Marion and Washington counties). Program contact: Ron Markus at 533-6630.

* St. Clair County Intergovernmental Grants Department. Program contact: Christina Anderson at 825-3218.

* Western Egyptian Economic Opportunity Council Inc. (Monroe, Randolph, Perry and Jackson counties). Program contact: Robert Schroeder at 965-3193.

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