Housing Development & Initiatives
The East Central Illinois Community Action Agency has a rich tradition of providing an array of housing services to the citizens of Vermilion County. Rather it is providing emergency, transitional, or affordable housing options to families in need; the Agency has been on the forefront of promoting economic growth, neighborhood beautification and preservation, and community prosperity to our service areas. Listed below is a historic timeline of the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency’s housing development initiatives:
Phase One – Emergency Shelter
East Central was the first Agency to operate an emergency shelter in Vermilion County. This emergency shelter was designed to provide families with children who are in crisis with a temporary, yet safe and habitable, living condition. While staying in the shelter, families received other ancillary Agency services to help them combat their precarious predicament. They were allowed to reside in the shelter for a few weeks until they are in a more stable situation.
Phase Two – Transitional Housing
In an effort to meet the growing demand of displaced families, East Central evolved into providing transitional housing. The Transitional Housing service afforded families, who were in a homeless situation due to fire, domestic abuse, or other extremely circumstances, a secure and stable home to reside for a significant period of time; until they were able to move into their own residence; whether it was rental or homeownership. The distinct difference between the Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing is that families in the transitional option received extensive case management from duly qualified staff. Family participated in family goal setting exercises and received access to all available Agency services that would elevate them into a position of self-sufficiency. Families were allowed to reside in the transitional housing unit for up to six months.
Phase Three – Housing Rehabilitation
East Central took a proactive approach to housing sustainability and neighborhood revitalization by identifying old, dilapidated properties in some of our most at-risk neighborhoods, purchasing the homes and rehabilitating them, thusly converting them into safe, decent and energy efficient housing. The genesis of the program was to preserve our neighbors as well as provide affordable housing to our residents. Eligible families with low to moderate incomes, who had the fortitude and financial means, could purchase the rehabbed homes at a fair market price. This program allowed families who may not otherwise have to opportunity through traditional methods, the chance to achieve the “American Dream” of owning their own home.
Phase Four - Bowman Estates
East Central delves into the project development arena by serving as co-developers for the only senior citizen assisted living community in Vermilion County called Bowman Estates. The community is certified to operate through the Illinois Supportive Living program. Designed to serve adults 65 and older of all incomes that may need some help to maintain their independence, Bowman Estates of Danville provides a wonderful alternative to a nursing home. It especially benefits those who cannot afford private pay assisted living.
Phase Five – Prairie Meadows
Our grandest and most ambitious housing development project today is Prairie Meadows. We are the proud developer and owner of this $4.5 million project situated in Hoopeston, IL. Prairie Meadows offers 25-units of single family living for families on approximately ten acres of land. The subdivision has a mixture of two and three bedroom dwellings from approximately 1045 to 1331 square feet. The development offers affordable housing for working families and senior citizens. Initially housing has been provided through lease agreement but within 20 years they will become homeownership units; affording existing residents with the first opportunity to sign lease to purchase agreements. The project promotes the opportunity for a better standard of living in a very rural community.