Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program Awards Qualified Park Forest Home Buyers $10,000

Park Forest one of six communities selected to participate in program

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Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Village of Park Forest has been selected to be one of six pilot communities to participate in a new program created by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to address the housing foreclosure crisis. This program, known as the Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program, packages a variety of new and existing resources to create a comprehensive strategy to help stabilize neighborhoods, protect property values, maintain the existing local tax base, and increase affordable housing stock.

In the pilot phase of the Program, a $45 million commitment from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and a $10 million commitment from Cook County will help fund these programs in Park Forest, Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Maywood, Riverdale, and South Holland.

The Program, which will be administered by IHDA, has three components:

  1. Financing to rehabilitate vacant properties for sale in the pilot communities;
  2. Assistance to homeowners to purchase homes in the pilot communities; and
  3. Support for existing homeowners throughout the State of Illinois to prevent additional foreclosures.

In the rehabilitation component of the program, IHDA will work with local developers to acquire and rehabilitate vacant single family properties within a targeted area in each community. Park Forest is targeting the “W” and “M” Streets for this program, as these are neighborhoods where several homes are also being rehabilitated by Habitat for Humanity in a similar grant funded project. The rehabilitated homes will be available for sale to moderate and low income buyers, and then funds will be replenished into the revolving fund to purchase and rehabilitate additional properties.  IHDA expects that the initial pilot will be able to rehabilitate 10 to 15 homes in each community, with many more homes able to be rehabilitated as the initial homes are sold.  Purchase and rehabilitation of homes is expected to be underway starting in the summer of 2012.

The homeowner assistance component of the Program launches on March 1, 2012.  This component will provide $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to any qualified home buyer who purchases a vacant home in one of the pilot communities.  The home buyer must be purchasing the home as their primary residence.  In order to qualify, a household of one or two persons can have no more than approximately $84,000 in income, and a household of three or more can have no more than approximately $104,000 in income.

The third component of the Program will help current homeowners by providing tools to prevent foreclosure. This element will build on the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (KeepYourHomeIllinois.org), launched in the Governor’s State of the State address. Programs will be held in the six communities to provide free one-on-one foreclosure counseling, loan modifications, and access to financial assistance to homeowners who have trouble paying their mortgage payments due to unemployment or under-employment.

For more information about the Illinois Building Blocks Pilot Program, contact Director of Economic Development and Planning Hildy Kingma at 708-283-5622 or [email protected].