OAK PARK – December 3, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today announced nearly $4.3 million in federal funding to increase affordable housing and stabilize communities in three west suburban Cook County communities. Awarded through the “IKE” Disaster Recovery Program, the funding will be used to rehabilitate homes in Bellwood, Maywood and Forest Park for low-and-moderate income families. Communities throughout west Cook County faced severe flood and storm impacts in 2008. The three communities receiving funding are working to stabilize their communities after several years of economic downturn.
“This funding will help revitalize communities in west suburban Cook County that were impacted by the storms in 2008 by expanding affordable housing,” said Governor Quinn. “Providing more affordable housing options will help ease financial stress for families and stabilize the local economy.”
The IKE funding will support acquiring, rehabilitating and selling homes in Bellwood, Maywood and Forest Park. The IKE recovery program is named for Hurricane Ike, the 2008 disaster that was one of the costliest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States. Illinois received a total of $169 million in federal disaster funds under IKE to assist communities within 41 Illinois counties in recovering from devastating floods and storms in 2008, and minimize the impact of future disasters. Projects approved under the IKE-Community Stabilization component of the program help increase affordable housing and stabilize communities.
“Today’s funding will help communities in west Cook County ensure decent, affordable housing for more families and residents,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “More than that, a stable community with easy access to transportation is better positioned to retain and attract businesses that can revitalize the region and create good-paying jobs.”
Governor Quinn announced the IKE award at an event held today with Sen. Durbin, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Congressman Danny K. Davis and state and local officials. The IKE award, administered through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, is helping the area leverage additional federal funding. Also today, HUD announced a $2.9 million Sustainable Communities Regional Planning grant to the West Cook County Housing Collaborative (WCCHC).
The WCCHC is a collaboration among five communities in west suburban Cook County to address shared housing issues, including foreclosure recovery and strategies to encourage transit-oriented redevelopment. The IKE funding will be used to build on the efforts of the West Cook County Housing Collaborative to address affordable housing needs in Bellwood, Berwyn, Forest Park, Maywood and Oak Park.
“Oak Park and the West Cook County Collaborative are using new tools to solve old problems and the result is a dynamic initiative to promote sustainability at the local neighborhood level and increase involvement of residents and the business community in the planning process,” said Antonio R. Riley, HUD’s Midwest Regional Administrator. “The Collaborative has the right partners, the right approach and the right vision for success.”
“We are pleased to see these communities working together on a collaborative approach, which is why we wanted to support their joint effort and help leverage additional federal funding,” said DCEO Director Warren Ribley. “The funding will help these west suburban Cook County communities bring increased affordable housing to areas in need.”
For additional information on the IKE Disaster Recovery Program, visit www.ildceo.net/disasterrecovery.