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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2010

State Announces $5.3M in State, Stimulus Funding to Build Affordable Homes in Central Illinois
Cottage Apartments will create jobs and increase affordable housing options for local seniors

NORMAL – Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) officials today joined Bluestem Housing Partners NFP and local dignitaries to celebrate the groundbreaking of an independent living facility for seniors in Normal. The construction project is estimated to create more than 60 jobs for local residents and will produce 50 affordable rental homes for low-income seniors. The State of Illinois invested $5.3 million to build Cottage Apartments, including $1.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and $3.8 million in loans and tax credits from other state resources.

“Governor Quinn is dedicated to putting federal stimulus dollars to good use in Illinois,” said Gloria L. Materre, IHDA Executive Director. “These funds create jobs for hardworking local residents and get affordable housing development back on track,”

As the state’s housing finance agency, IHDA allocated the stimulus funds to help revive the building plans for Cottage Apartments. The agency invested federal tax credits to the projects in July and December 2009, which would have generated millions of dollars in private equity for the development. However, financing fell through when the country’s economic recession caused the value of tax credits in the financial markets to plunge. The stimulus funding has helped bridge the financing gap and allowed for construction to begin on the development.

Developed by Bluestem Housing Partners NFP, Cottage Apartments will consist of a three-story, 50 unit independent living building serving residents who are over the age of 55. Ten percent of the units are reserved for elderly residents in need of supportive housing services. Building amenities include a fitness room, library and community room. Construction is expected to be completed by August 2011.

Residents must earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income ($32,220 for an individual in McLean County, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines). Monthly rents will range from $300 to $610 depending on unit size and income and does not include utilities. For leasing information, contact First Site Ltd., who will manage the property, at (309) 888-4444.

“Without the federal stimulus funding allocated to us by IHDA, Cottage Apartments would never have gotten off the ground,” said Audra Hamernik, executive director of Bluestem Housing Partners NFP. “We are grateful to the Governor and IHDA for committing stimulus funding to help jumpstart this much-needed project.”

“This is a great example of putting recovery dollars to work helping an important population in our community while creating jobs for local residents," said Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson (D-Crete).



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