Public Announcements

 

Rent out of reach for many in Peoria

A full-time worker earning the minimum wage can’t afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in Peoria, Tazewell or Woodford counties.

This finding comes from a national report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and Housing Action Illinois. “Out of Reach 2018: The High Cost of Housing” calculates that a worker must earn $14.96 per hour to afford the fair market rate rent of $778 per month for a modest two-bedroom in the Tri-County Area without spending more than 30 percent of their income on that and utilities.

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Illinois' housing agency extends hand to help Cairo develop 'realistic housing goals'

CAIRO — Illinois’ housing agency is providing robust technical assistance to help the city of Cairo identify local housing needs, and develop a plan “to achieve its vision of growth over the long term.”

“IHDA’s community revitalization specialists will be meeting with Cairo officials, educational institutions, local businesses and other stakeholders to strategize future planning and investment for the city,” said Andrew Field, a spokesman for the Illinois Housing Development Authority, in a statement. 

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FOREIGN CYBER ACTORS TARGET HOME AND OFFICE ROUTERS AND NETWORKED DEVICES WORLDWIDE

SUMMARY

The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers power cycle (reboot) the devices. Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide. The actors used VPNFilter malware to target small office and home office routers. The malware is able to perform multiple functions, including possible information collection, device exploitation, and blocking network traffic.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

The size and scope of the infrastructure impacted by VPNFilter malware is significant. The malware targets routers produced by several manufacturers and network-attached storage devices by at least one manufacturer. The initial infection vector for this malware is currently unknown.

THREAT

VPNFilter is able to render small office and home office routers inoperable. The malware can potentially also collect information passing through the router. Detection and analysis of the malware’s network activity is complicated by its use of encryption and misattributable networks.

DEFENSE

The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers reboot the devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and aid the potential identification of infected devices. Owners are advised to consider disabling remote management settings on devices and secure with strong passwords and encryption when enabled. Network devices should be upgraded to the latest available versions of firmware.

 

Some resources to help you.

 

How to properly restart a router and modem.

Another article that is helpful.

An article from PCWorld

 

Affordable housing project begins

VIRGINIA — Ground was officially broken Thursday for a new affordable housing project on the southwest edge of Virginia.

Construction has begun on 20 two- and three-bedroom, single-family houses on seven acres next to Jenny Marr Dunaway Memorial Park. The houses are scheduled to be completed in spring 2019.

“This will be an amazing opportunity for families in Virginia,” Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Audra Hamernik said in a news release. “These are critically needed homes that will go a long way to address the pent-up demand for family housing in the community.”

Developed by the Cass County Housing Authority and Windsor Development Group, the project is financed largely by federal tax credits awarded by IHDA, which will generate over $5.4 million in private capital to offset the cost of building the new houses. The development will bring rental options to an area that has seen little multifamily development over the last decade and where more than 40 percent of all rental housing was built before 1960.

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Rep. Bourne announcers four development block grants for 95th District

LITCHFIELD - State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) is pleased to announce that the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) recently awarded over $1.8 million in federal funding for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) in the 95th District. Two were awarded under the Public Infrastructure Grant Program and the other two were awarded under the Housing Rehabilitation Grant Program.

“These grants are news for our area. Our communities need homes rehabilitated and infrastructure investment. This investment will help Audubon Township, Hillsboro, Mt. Olive and Morrisonville make these improvements for their local residents,” stated Rep. Bourne.

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Illinois Poverty Rate Stuck At 13 Percent; Women, Children, Minorities Hard Hit

The poverty rate has inched slightly lower in Illinois but still remains well above the rate that existed before the Great Recession began in 2008.

Updated statistics from Chicago-based Heartland Alliance show the overall number of Illinois residents living below the poverty line decreased to 13 percent in 2016 from 13.8 percent in 2010. The pre-recession poverty rate was 10.7 percent in 2000.

“That means that Illinois has not rebounded yet from the recession,” said Katie Buitrago, director of Heartland Alliance’s Social Impact Research Center. The center studies poverty throughout the Midwest.

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Federal tax credits to support developments in Alton and Granite City

The Illinois Housing Development Authority Board of Directors has awarded more than $26.4 million in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits to fund 26 affordable housing developments, including two in Alton and Granite City.

The local projects include:

The Community of Sunnybrook (Alton): A new development offering 38 affordable apartments and two market-rate units for families just east of downtown Alton. Currently a vacant field, the property will soon feature 20 duplex buildings containing a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. After 15 years, the developers will make the units available as opportunities for affordable homeownership.

Edison Avenue Lofts (Granite City): A historic rehabilitation of the former YMCA in downtown Granite City into a mixed-income, mixed-use apartment building offering 37 affordable units. Developed by Rise Community Development, the building is in a walkable section of downtown adjacent to a park, a new community theater, and a historic library.

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36 Illinois communities to receive $14.5 million federal grant

DURAND - The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity announced that the Villages of Durand and Stockton, and the City of LaSalle, would be three of thirty-six communities across the state to benefit from $14.5 million in federal grants for public infrastructure.

Thirty-six communities across 29 counties will receive public infrastructure funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

“Public infrastructure is important not only for the day-to-day function of Illinoisans, but to bolster growth and economic development within a community,” said Governor Rauner. “These grant dollars will be used for projects such as water, sanitary and sewer system improvements that will greatly support our low-income communities and attract more opportunities for residents.”

The Village of Durand will receive $500,000 for potable water well improvments.

The Village of Stockton will receive $453,700 for water distribution improvements.

The City of LaSalle will receive $500,000 for separate storm sewer flows.

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HACD board to oversee county housing authority

DANVILLE – Vermilion County Board members are expected tonight to authorize the Housing Authority of the City of Danville's Board of Commissioners to also serve as the board for the Vermilion County Housing Authority.

Housing Authority of Danville Executive Director Jaclyn Vinson said the appointment of the HACD board of commissioners is “on the interim basis at the request of HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development).”

Vinson said the overall employee structure will not change with both housing authorities remaining separate.

All five members of the Vermilion County Housing Authority board resigned earlier this year out of frustration working with HUD, according to a March press release from Vermilion County Board Chairman Mike Marron.

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HUD agrees to reduce rent charges for Thebes public housing tenants facing forced relocation

THEBES — Housing and Urban Development has agreed to reduce monthly rent beginning in June for many of the roughly 30 families who have been told they must move from two public housing complexes in Thebes that have fallen into disrepair.

In a return letter to Sen. Tammy Duckworth last week, HUD agreed to cut rent charges in half, with the caveat that all tenants must pay at least $50, and none will pay more than $300. HUD, which is managing the housing authority in receivership, says the Alexander County Housing Authority cannot afford to bring them up to health and safety standards and keep them open.

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Teresa Greenstreet of Warren County Housing Authority Receives the 2017 IAHA David W. Morgan Memorial Award

 

Teresa Greenstreet with Warren County Housing Authority Receives the 2017 IAHA David W. Morgan Memorial Award.

Teresa Greenstreet began her employment at Warren County Housing Authority, WCHA, in October 1978, occupying every office from secretary/receptionist to that of Executive Director. Teresa was elevated to the position of Executive Director in the spring of 1998.

Challenges always surround Executive Directors, but Teresa faced an even larger uphill battle as she watched occupancy rates plummet following the departure of many foreign workers at Farmland Foods in Monmouth who called Lincoln Homes, the PHA’s family site in Monmouth, home. The mass exodus, combined with the rough reputation the Housing Authority site was trying to overcome since its inception in 1970 seemed insurmountable. As many as 40 to 45 of the 80 units were not only abruptly empty, but dirty, and needed a complete turnaround for re-rent. The occupancy rate at the remote site in Roseville fell below 50%, with some units empty for years.  An 8-unit site in Kirkwood, IL was never full and in need of repair. And to add to her fate, 2 months after taking the reins as Executive Director, Teresa was introduced to a new HUD plan called REAC. Yes, HUD is actually going to come to your PHA, inspect and grade the site visit, upon which your future funding will depend. The situation was grim.

Knowing the only way to pull things together was to get organized and get involved, both of which Teresa did and did well. Leading by example, it was all hands-on board at Lincoln Homes…cleaning, painting, and repairing until they were all considered ready to rent. REAC scored Warren County Housing Authority at 98%, its first of six consecutive designations in the high performer category. Teresa, in an effort to bring stability and the towns respect back to 800 South 9th Street in Monmouth, worked in tandem with the occupancy manager, and tore into the application and recertification processes, updating any and all language, and strictly enforcing the existing rules and regulations, some of which ended in evictions.  Setting her sights on Roseland Homes and Kirkland Homes, Teresa spearheaded the direction of the Modernization Program, now known as the Capital Fund Program, towards the improvement and marketability of those two locations, replacing lighting, driveways, sidewalks, adding playgrounds and storage sheds. It didn’t happen overnight, but it all started to work. Apartments began to fill with people who were once afraid of those very some properties. Headstart located a facility at Lincoln Homes, an after-school program began at Lincoln Homes, a summer feeding program for kids began at Lincoln Homes, and about the only thing missing is the office once occupied by the Monmouth Police Department, because it is no longer needed.  Teresa once told me (Dennis Schumacher) about 10 years ago, that if there were drugs or guns in Lincoln Homes, she didn’t know about it. What a bold, but accurate statement, something not many of her statewide counterparts could say.

Her office habits are the same. Get to work early, be the last one to leave but always be ready to help the staff who can’t work through something. Everyone came out of a meeting with Teresa with options on whatever the situation required.  That included her Executive Director counterparts throughout the state, who after time, realized who to go to for an opinion, or help. Our auditor lauded her in private and public before our Board of Commissioners, who were assured each year that the books were in order and there is more money in the bank than before. Her audits, per Andy Zenk, of Zenk and Associates, were the gold standard.

Sometimes Teresa and I didn’t see eye to eye. She is a bit of a tree hugger, I like sharpened chain saws She likes to watch the reserves grow, I like to spend money. She takes the stairs, I take the elevator. Those differences worked well, thought, as we always had good conversation and thought prior to decision-making.

Every staff member respected Teresa and enjoyed her company, as did her fellow administrative and maintenance staffs throughout Illinois.  In October, Teresa will celebrate her 39th year on staff at Warren County Housing. She has a habit of making things last as she just celebrated her 45th wedding anniversary.

 

Teresa and Denny

Jerry Gille, Dennis Schumacher, Teresa Greenstreet and Joann Pink

 

Macoupin Housing Services cuts ribbons

Representatives from Macoupin Housing Services (MHS) and the Macoupin County Housing Authority (MCHA) cut the ribbons on three tax credit housing developments in the county at ceremonies held Sept. 23.

Home tours were available to area residents and local dignitaries at the 14 homes built in Staunton, nine in Bunker Hill and 15 in Gillespie. The homes were built through a low-income housing tax credit created under the 1986 Tax Reform Act. It gives incentives for the use of private equity in the development of affordable housing aimed at low-income Americans. The program is administered at the state level through the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), which receives a fixed allocation of credits based on population.

The homes have to meet strict requirements with regard to construction standards and energy efficiency.

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