Housing Authority of Champaign County

Providing rental assistance to low-income, elderly and disabled individuals and families

Frequently Asked Questions

How will the developer mitigate increased traffic on Cobblefield & Inverness?

Shouldn't there be more than one public access point to Providence at Thornberry?

Will my property values decrease if affordable housing is built in my neighborhood?

Why were the residents of Turnberry Ridge and Glenshire Subdivisions not notified of this planned development?

Don't low income developments invite crime?

Isn't the bus service inadequate for an affordable housing community?

How will security or any other issues within the development be addressed?

How was the Cobblefield Subdivision site chosen?

 

How will the developer mitigate increased traffic on Cobblefield & Inverness?

The traffic study showed no additional traffic impacts at Cobblefield and Inverness, Staley and Inverness or Staley and Colleen will result from the development of Providence at Thornberry.. However, in order to address one of teh concerns of the neighborhood, the Housing Authoity acquired the detention pond at the end of Colleen Drive. Current plans are to fill in the detention pond and build the entrance to the development off of the Colleen Drive cul-de-sac.

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Shouldn't there be more than one public access point to Providence at Thornberry?

The property was zoned by the City of Champaign as a multi-family development with an allowable density of 210 units with only one access point planned long before HACC's acquisition of the property.  HACC and its development partner are developing 160 units on the site, well below what is permissible.  The access to Providence at Thornberry will be from Colleen Drive and not from Cobblefield.

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Will my property values decrease if affordable housing is built in my neighborhood?

There are hundreds of very reputable national studies that affordable housing DOES NOT cause a decrease in property values.  Below are links to just a few of the national studies.

http://www.habitat.org/how/propertyvalues.aspx - a study by Habitat for Humanity

http://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-effects-of-low-income-housing-on-property-values  - a study by the National Association of Realtors - below is an excerpt from this website.

Are the sales prices of single-family homes made higher or lower when low-income housing is nearby?  Most studies indicate that affordable housing has no long term negative impact on surrounding home values.  In fact, some research indicates the opposite!  However, local communities continue to believe the myth, raising a cry of "Not in my Backyard!"  The following articles and studies examine the effects of low-income, public, and subsidized housing on the values of surrounding properties, the challenge of NIMBY, and some possible resources people can use to educate community groups and local governments.

http://www.nhc.org/media/documents/Dontputithere.pdf - a summary of various studies by the Center for Housing Policy, produced by the MacArthur Foundation. - below is an excerpt from this website:

To "summarize the summaries" - the vast majority of studies have found that affordable housing does not depress neighboring property values, and may even raise them in some cases.  Overall, the research suggests that neighbors should have little to fear from the type of attractive and modestly sized developments that constitute the bulk of newly produced affordable housing today.

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Why were the residents of Turnberry Ridge and Glenshire Subdivisions not notified of this planned development?

First of all the Housing Authority of Champaign County was not required by the City of Champaign to notify any of the local residents because the Authority was not requesting a zoning change.  However, the Authority thought that it should go above and beyond what is required and, based on a list generated by the City of Champaign, invited property owners within 250 feet of the planned development boundaries to a public meeting on March 7, 2013.  The Authority is happy to meet with any community group to answer questions regarding the development.  We will continue to provide information to the public throughout the development process.

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Don't low income developments invite crime?

First of all Providence at Thornberry is not a low income development and the Authority is not proposing a low income development.  This is a mixed income development that will have market rate housing for people with unrestricted incomes and housing restricted to people at 60% of Area Median Income (AMI).  In Champaign County - 60% of AMI for a family of 4 is $40,800. 

Second HUD no longer allows housing authorities to concentrate housing in low-income neighborhoods.  This model has been shown not to work in creating an atmosphere where residents are able to increase their levels of self-sufficiency.  Since 1996 the model for affordable housing has been the creation of mixed-income communities.  Since 2000 all of the Housing Authority's new developments have been mixed income developments on former low-income sites.  The City of Champaign can provide statistics regarding the reduction in crime rates in the various redeveloped neighborhoods over time.

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Isn't the bus service inadequate for an affordable housing community?

Our experience shows that many of the families who would choose to live at a property in this type of neighborhood and in the income range of 60% of AMI will have their own means of transportation.  They also will be able to use the Champaign Urbana Mass Transit District (CUMTD) shuttle service to and from the Country Fair transfer point. 

The News-Gazette recently ran an article stating that CUMTD is planning to increase bus service in the area to accommodate transportation to the new YMCA and the planned affordable housing development of Providence at Thornberry.

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How will security or any other issues within the development be addressed?

The property management company will determine how security will be handled.  It will utilize the Champaign Police Department as needed.  The Authority has not needed private security arrangements in any of its other tax credit communities.

Other issues at Providence at Thornberry will be handled the same as such issues are handled in any other well managed apartment development.

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How was the Cobblefield Subdivision site chosen?

The Authority considered over 20 different sites throughout Champaign, Urbana and Savoy.  We were close to closing on the first choice site when the Illinois Housing Development Authority  (IHDA) refused to issue tax credits because that site was too close to one of their other tax credit sites.  Our second choice was the Cobblefield Subdivision site.  It met our criteria of between 12 and 15 acres, zoned multi-family and most importantly was acceptable to IHDA.

The Cobblefield Subdivision site has the added benefit of meeting one of HUD's goals of dispersing affordable housing outside traditionally low-income areas.  This is just the type of site and neighborhood where HUD likes to locate new mixed-income developments.

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What will be the eligibility requirements for residency in Providence at Thornberry?

Applicants must pass credit and criminal background checks and meet the eligibility requirements of the property management company.  Their family income must be below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Champaign County.  For a family of four, 60% of the AMI in 2012 was $40,800.

To be eligible for rent subsidy, at least one member of the applicant's family must be working at least 20 hours per week and all other able-bodied adult household members ages 18 though 54 must be enrolled in the Authority's Mandatory Self-Sufficiency Program.  Family members ages 5 though 18 must be enrolled in and attend school; or, for age-appropriate dependents, meet employment requirements.

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