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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2004

GOVERNOR BLAGOJEVICH ANNOUNCES ALMOST $1.7 MILLION IN OPPORTUNITY RETURNS GRANTS FOR WEST CENTRAL REGION HOUSING REHABILITATION PROJECTS

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced almost $1.7 million in funding for the rehabilitation of 64 owner occupied homes throughout the West Central region.  These home improvements will drastically enhance the living environments and quality of life for low-income and disabled West Central residents, as well as building the capacity for economic growth.  This aggressive effort to improve living conditions for the region’s most underserved residents is part of the Governor’s Opportunity Returns initiative, his comprehensive, pro-active plan for restoring economic opportunity to the West Central region.
 
“Opportunity Returns is a grassroots initiative that is forming key partnerships to build stronger communities where economic opportunity is more abundant. These grants will fund critical improvements in homes throughout the region that are badly in need of refurbishing, and, in doing so, help build more vibrant and attractive communities that are better positioned for economic growth,” Governor Blagojevich said.
 
The funds for this initiative are part of the Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP), a federally-funded grant program that assists Illinois communities by providing grants to local governments to help them in financing economic development, public facilities and housing rehabilitation projects. The program is targeted to assist low-to-moderate income people by creating job opportunities and improving the quality of their living environment.  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity administers the program.
 
Governor Blagojevich has developed the following objectives for the CDAP program:
 
  • Strengthen community economic development through the creation of jobs, stimulation of private investment and strengthening the tax base
  • Improvement of public infrastructure and elimination of conditions which are detrimental to health, safety and public welfare; and
  • Conservation and expansion of the state's housing stock in order to provide a decent home and a suitable living environment for persons of low-to-moderate income and the developmentally disabled.
These CDAP grants being provided to the West Central region fall under the third objective.  They are designed to help provide safe and sanitary living conditions for low-to-moderate income residents. 
 
“The CDAP grant program is being used to make critical improvements in public infrastructure, stimulate private investment, create jobs, and improve our housing stock.  Comprehensively, this program is playing a vital role in economic development throughout Illinois. These Opportunity Returns grants to fund housing improvements throughout the West Central region are a vital component of the program and will continue to help accomplish the Governor’s mission of restoring economic opportunity to communities throughout the state,” DCEO Director Jack Lavin said.
                                                           
Governor Blagojevich’s Opportunity Returns regional economic development plan is the most aggressive, comprehensive approach to creating jobs in Illinois’ history.  Since a one-size-fits-all approach to economic development just doesn’t work, the Governor has divided the state into 10 regions – finding areas with common economic strengths and needs, and developing a plan with specific actions for each region.  This grassroots effort is a product of significant outreach over several months throughout each region, with business, civic and labor leaders, and elected officials.  The 45 specific projects that the Governor announced in January for the West Central region are designed to be flexible and effective.  Each plan is tailored to deliver real results that local businesses will see, feel, and, hopefully, profit from.
 
The West Central region’s housing improvements are as follows:
 
 Location                                   Description                          Cost ($)

City of Quincy, Adams County

Rehabilitate 5 owner occupied homes

100,000

Village of London Mills, Fulton, Knox Counties

Rehabilitate 11 owner occupied homes

301,250

Village of Saint Augustine, Knox County

Rehabilitate 11 owner occupied homes

289,500

Village of Blandinsville, McDonough County

Rehabilitate 12 owner occupied homes

336,350

City of Bushnell, McDonough County

Rehabilitate 12 owner occupied homes

307,100

Village of Kirkwood, Warren County

Rehabilitate 13 owner occupied homes

339,250

                                                TOTAL                              $1,673,450



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