IHDA Awards $525,000 to Freeport’s Blight Reduction Program

FREEPORT, IL – The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced that the City of Freeport is one of fifteen cities statewide awarded funding under the Blight Reduction Program, a program funded by the U.S. Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund. This is the second round of IHDA funding.

IDHA’s new BRP award totals $525,000 for revitalization of City neighborhoods. The City’s application was written in partnership with Northwestern Illinois Community Action Agency, and focuses on vacant, dangerous and abandoned structures in the City’s 5th and 7th wards.

The IDHA funding will allow the City/NICAA partnership to conduct environmental reviews, pre-demolition preparation, demolition of structures, property greening, preparation for redevelopment and maintenance until redevelopment occurs. This is a forgivable loan program that allows the partnership to complete the aforesaid work without any local funding match.

Mayor Jim Gitz expressed delight at the latest funding announcement. The mayor said, “with the award of these funds, the City of Freeport can continue to build upon our present efforts to demolish dangerous, abandoned structures that damage our community and detract from quality of life. The City has already taken down more than 50 structures in the past three years. The new round of BRP provides additional funds to keep going. This is all about maintaining quality neighborhoods that people want to live in.”

Community Development Director Alex Mills stated that, “IDHA’S BRP program is a god-send to older cities like Freeport that are actively trying to improve their housing stock. This funding award targets an area of the City that is at risk but has some great housing intermingled with blight. The key is saving the good and getting rid of the bad. It is an injection of much needed help. ” NICAA Program Manager Nate Dale said that he is “Quote about housing and rehab”

This 2nd round of funding will be used primarily in an area that encompasses Spring Street south to Empire and Locust Avenue east to Chicago Avenue with the ability to expand the area from Float Avenue East to the railroad tracks if there is sufficient funding remaining once the initial target properties are completed.

When coupled with the 1st round of funding, this program is providing a 1.5 million dollar investment in Freeport neighborhoods that cover an area from Main Street south to Empire and Locust Avenue east to the City’s rail road tracks.

The City and NICAA are looking to speak to potential real estate developers interested in the project and the target area. Any interest in becoming a part of our redevelopment strategy should be directed to Nick Jupin by calling 815-599-5810 or by email at njupin@cityoffreeport.org.

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