Development | Important Updates
After converting our remaining public housing units to the Rental Assistance Demonstration Program (RAD), the Housing Authority of Champaign County has taken on an aggressive program to develop new, energy-efficient units with amenities previously only found in the private market. HUD no longer provides funding for the construction of new units, so we partner with private developers, municipalities, and other entities that have affordable housing programs. This collaboration allows us to construct new units in Champaign County and other locations around the state of Illinois. The partnerships also offer funding opportunities that were not previously available. The partnerships are beneficial not only to the developer and us but most importantly to the residents who are now able to afford a newly constructed market-rate unit.
Our most recently completed project, The Haven, has 98 units to provide housing for seniors, and the Haven Flats has 24 units also senior or people with special needs. This project was constructed using a private developer to do a turnkey project. Funding for construction was provided through the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits issued by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, proceeds from the sale of our Skelton Place property, and a grant also from the Illinois Housing Development Authority. This project is now complete, and we are leasing up. Rent subsidy is provided through the use of site-based Housing Choice Vouchers. This project has numerous market-rate amenities, including an in-unit washer and dryer, community space and kitchen, fully equipped exercise room, computer lab, and furnished community space on each floor. Outdoors there is a pickleball court, garden space, a large gazebo, and a dog park.
Another benefit of the development process is job creation and contracting opportunities. At the Haven, we had set a goal of 30 percent participation by minority or disadvantaged contractors and 30 percent for low-income individuals as new hires through our Section 3 program. The Section 3 program provides hiring preference for income-qualified individuals. We are pleased that we exceeded these goals, with 40 percent of contracts going to minority firms for a total of $7,000,000 and 14,000 labor hours for Section 3 participants.
Homelessness is an issue in Champaign County, and a few years ago, the Housing Authority developed, owns, and maintains the only family shelter in the county. This facility offers emergency housing in apartments instead of motel rooms. It provides counseling through one of our development partners and the opportunity to receive a housing voucher for permanent housing in the same facility. Once certain criteria are met, program participants become eligible for a portable housing voucher and can be used for housing either locally or transferred to other Housing Choice Voucher programs. Permanent, affordable housing is an essential element in ending the cycle of poverty. This project is self-sustaining and operates without the use of any HUD operations funding.
Pinewood Place in Urbana is another development for people with special needs. This development is currently under construction and should be ready for leasing by August 2021. There are 24 one-bedroom units in four single-story accessible buildings. All the units are energy efficient and have market-rate amenities, including an in-unit washer and dryer. A clubhouse and community room are also included.
Another program we are partnered in is a re-entry program for those who have been previously incarcerated. We are partnered with the WIN organization for women and First Followers for men. The Housing Authority provides the housing unit and maintenance, and the programs provide counseling and supervision of the facilities. For this program, we have repurposed single-family homes that were previously public housing units. The units are located in Champaign.
The Housing Authority of Champaign County is also involved in affordable housing development in areas outside of Champaign County. These areas either do not have a Housing Authority or are unable to develop the needed units. These projects benefit not only the community where they are located but us as well. In addition to providing needed affordable units as a development partner, we receive a Developer Fee for each project. The amounts vary depending on each deal’s ownership structure, but the amounts are significant, totaling several million dollars for the projects currently underway. Also, we receive a fee for property management when the projects are completed. These funds are not subject to HUD restrictions and can be used not only to fill financial gaps in current projects or rolled over into future development but can be used for other programs administered by the Housing Authority of Champaign County. Currently, we have one completed project in Henry, IL that is leasing and other projects located in Newton, Robinson, Ladd, and West Chicago.
Although new unit development is only one aspect of what our agency does, it demonstrates how we have been able to adapt and overcome funding shortages and changes in regulations and continue to be a leader in the affordable housing community. It is our goal to continue to expand our ability to meet the affordable housing needs of our community and others.
Oakfield Place is a 30 unit age and income restricted development for seniors located in Henry, IL. The one story building has 26 one bedroom and 4 two bedroom units. Unit mix includes ADA units and a sensory unit. Also in the building is a community space with kitchen, exercise room and a management office. Unit amenities are market rate including in unit washer and dryer. Funding for the project was provided through a Low Income Housing Tax Credits award from the Illinois Housing Development Authority. There is a sliding rent scale and additional rent subsidy is provided for some units through the use of Housing Choice Vouchers provided by the Housing Authority of Champaign County.
Pinewood Place is a new construction project to be located at 1606 E. Colorado in the City of Urbana. The project is being developed under an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Urbana and the Housing Authority of Champaign County. Pinewood Place will provide twenty-four, one-bedroom units in 4 separate buildings for individuals with special needs. Preference will be provided to mentally, developmentally and physically disabled individuals with no income who are pending approval of Social Security benefits. Of the 24 units, 5 units will be set aside for the Statewide Referral Network and the additional 19 units will be set aside for referrals from local township offices in ChampaignCounty. MGDC Pinewood, LLC whose sole member is Maple Grove Development Corporation, a 501c3 affiliate of the Housing Authority of Champaign County, is the owner of the project. HACC will serve as the Property Management Agent for the property.
The Newton development has 35 age and income restricted units. There are 29 one bedroom and 6 two bedroom units. Six of the units are listed on the Statewide Referral Network and nine will have site based Housing Choice Vouchers attached for additional rent subsidy. The units have market rate amenities that include central air conditioning, dishwasher and in unit washer and dryer. A community room with kitchen is also available. Anticipated completion date is December 2021.
Construction funding is provided through Low Income Housing Tax Credits issued by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.
Sugar Creek Crossing located in Robinson, IL is a 43 unit age and income restricted senior apartment development. The units have an income based sliding rent scale. There are 36 one bedroom and 7 two bedroom units. Construction funding is provided through Low Income Housing Tax Credits issued by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The energy efficient units have market rate amenities including in unit washer and dryer.
Additional subsidy is available through 11 site based Housing Choice vouchers provided by the Housing Authority of Champaign County. 7 of the units will also be made available to the Statewide Referral Network.
Ladd senior housing consists of 40 age and income restricted senior housing units. There are 32 one bedroom and 8 two bedroom. 11 units receive additional subsidy through site based Housing Choice Vouchers supplied by the Housing Authority of Champaign County and the remainder have sliding rent scales based on income and Low Income Housing Tax Credit restrictions. The tax credits provide the construction funding. Amenities include community room with kitchen, fitness room, computer lab, outdoor gazebo, picnic tables and grills. Our partner on this project is the Laborers Union Home Development Corporation.
Main Street Lofts is a new construction 24 unit permanent supportive housing community in the City of West Chicago in DuPage County. This project is a four-story elevator building with the first floor comprised of all amenities and floors two through four containing the residential apartment units. Amenities include a library, community lounge, fitness room, laundry, and offices for case managers to work with residents. North Arrow Development will be the turn-key developer. The Housing Authority of DuPage County and the Housing Authority of Champaign County have entered into an agreement allowing the Housing Authority of Champaign County to administer the use of Moving to Work Housing Choice Vouchers for this project.