URBANA — Programs airing today (Tuesday, March 27) on WILL-TV and WILL-AM will focus on safe, affordable housing in the area.
According to Illinois Public Media spokeswoman Mary Barrineau, the nation's economic decline has led to many changes in housing stock and neighborhoods in Champaign and Vermilion counties.
As a result, more renters find themselves competing for safe and affordable housing. The growing demand for housing, in tern, puts stress on assistance programs for renters.
Meanwhile, some people have developed, strong, often negative perceptions of low-income housing.
A new series called "Neighbors" debuting today on WILL-AM will features stories about people in Vermilion and Champaign counties and their neighborhoods.
The programs will air at 6:35 and 8:35 a.m. and at 12:39 p.m., 4:44 p.m. and 6:44 p.m. on WILL-AM.
In the series premiere, Mary Ann Pettigrew of Danville talks about her neighborhood, known as Rabbittown, where she has spent most of her life.
On April 3, Gloria Thompson-Brown of Danville explains how neighbors keep an eye out for each other in her neighborhood, where she and her husband rent a house through Section 8 assistance.
On April 10, Thom Pollock describes living in a home that is about 100 years old in a central Danville neighborhood.
"We've heard concerns about affordability, safety and homelessness," said Kimberlie Kranich of Illinois Public Media. "Affordable housing is about more than a physical structure. It's also about residents needing a supportive environment and access to services."
Then WILL-AM's morning talk show, "Focus," will highlight issues regarding public housing. The program starts at 11:06 a.m.
Host David Inge will speak with Edward Bland, executive director of the Champaign Housing Authority; Greg Hilleary, executive director of the Danville Housing Authority; and Gloria Thompson-Brown, residential coordinator at the Green Meadows Housing Complex in Danville.
WILL-TV will present a live program, "Housing: A Basic Human Need," beginning at 8 p.m. today.
The show, produced by reporter Pam Dempsey of CU-Citizen Access.org, will feature video stories about housing in Champaign and Vermilion counties and a roundtable discussion with local experts.
The featured stories include a look at Generations of Hope in Rantoul, an intergenerational community serving adoptive families of foster children, and a look at a developer who turned the historic New Holland building in Danville into mixed-income housing.
The program, hosted by Inge, will also be videostreamed live at will.illinois.edu with an online chat immediately following the broadcast.