Tax credit that aids housing work extended

Tax credit that aids housing work extended

SPRINGFIELD – An affordable housing tax credit that has aided developments including the New Holland Apartments in Danville and the Taylor Thomas subdivision in Champaign has been extended for five years.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation on Friday authorizing the extension.

"The Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit helps thousands of people in the state building their lives on the strong foundation of a safe and decent home," said a statement from the governor.

The tax credit encourages donations of land, cash, materials or buildings to not-for-profit developers of affordable housing, according to Jennifer Wood, spokeswoman for the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The credit is equal to 50 cents for every dollar in donations and may be applied to state individual or business income taxes.

"It's a really great resource for affordable housing," Wood said.

The tax credit program had been set to expire at the end of 2006, but once the governor signed HB 603 into law, that deadline was extended to Dec. 31, 2011.

"The Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit is an excellent example of effective state government, government that encourages people from the private, public and nonprofit sectors to work together to meet the needs of Illinois residents," said state Rep. Art Turner, D-Chicago, who sponsored HB 603 with state Sen. William E. Peterson, R-Long Grove.

The tax credit has been in place for three years, during which $40 million in state tax credits were granted for $80 million in donations. Those donations contributed to the construction and rehabilitation of more than 5,000 affordable housing units, including some in East Central Illinois, Wood said.

In Champaign, the Taylor Thomas subdivision is being built on the site of the former Mansard Square Apartments, which were demolished in 1999 and 2000. When completed, there will be 15 new owner-occupied homes in the subdivision.

According to John A. Schneider, community development specialist for the city of Champaign, 12 of the homes will be affordable to those with household incomes at or below 80 percent of the median annual income for Champaign, which for a family of four is $48,300 or less. The remaining three homes will be sold at market rate, which means that there is no restriction on the income of the purchaser.

"Presently nine homes have been sold and are occupied," Schneider said. "One home has been sold and is in the construction process, and one more is going to be built as a spec. These will done in the next couple of months."

In Danville, the New Holland Apartments are being renovated by Crosspoint Human Services, which purchased the 100-year-old building at 324 N. Vermilion St. in 2001.

The 47 units will be a combination of one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, which Crosspoint hopes to have completed by the end of November, said Gary Miller, director of building and grounds for Crosspoint. Several apartments are going to be made available to the homeless, and the rest will be rented to low-income residents, he said.

Crosspoint hopes to have the work completed by the end of November, Miller said.

To learn more about donating to these or other area projects through the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit program, contact the Illinois Housing Development Authority at (312) 742-0467 or visit ViewPage.aspx?PageID=149.

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