Governor Pat Quinn today announced the U.S. Department of the Treasury will support the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) efforts to leverage up to $30 million of its federal Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) resources to eliminate blight in communities throughout the state. Today's announcement is part of Governor Quinn's commitment to stabilize neighborhoods and return vacant properties to productive use to advance the economy.
"I thank the Obama administration for this important federal resource that will help us continue to keep our communities strong," Governor Quinn said. "Our efforts to keep people in their homes have worked to stem the tide of foreclosures across Illinois. This new program will further stabilize neighborhoods by addressing abandoned and neglected properties that lure crime and reduce property values."
"Neighborhoods across Illinois continue to struggle with the damaging effects caused by vacant and blighted properties, which hurt home values and weaken efforts to stabilize communities," U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Mary Miller said. "The U.S. Treasury is pleased to work with the state of Illinois as they launch this new effort to eliminate neighborhood blight and strengthen communities hardest hit by the economic crisis."
IHDA will partner with eligible municipalities burdened with high vacancies to collaborate with not-for-profit organizations to implement the new "Blight Reduction Program" by this summer. This new effort builds on existing state programs targeted to help communities hit hard by the national financial crisis. With vacant properties damaging surrounding property values and fostering crime, removing vacant and blighted properties is the critical next step to preventing avoidable foreclosures and contributes to community stabilization efforts.
IHDA was awarded $445 million in federal foreclosure prevention resources under the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Hardest Hit Fund (HHF). Illinois was one of 18 states and the District of Columbia to receive HHF funding. The Blight Reduction Program will be the fourth program launched with HHF resources. The first was the Homeowner Emergency Loan Program, which has provided direct financial assistance to 12,400 homeowners in distress, allowing them to stay in their homes. Two other programs, the Mortgage Resolution Fund (MRF) and the Home Preservation Program (HPP) launched with Hardest Hit Funds provide loan modifications to underwater and delinquent borrowers. Through its partners in these programs, the State has facilitated loan modifications to 395 distressed Illinois homeowners.