New Adams Co. program takes action to address need for affordable housing

QUINCY (WGEM) – Local economic officials say there is a need for housing in the Adams County Area.

The Adams County Board has approved the GROW program, which provides financial compensation to developers to build affordable housing in Adams County

The plan would have landowners redevelop either vacant lots or uninhabited structures into affordable housing units.

Finance Chairman Bret Austin said they are investing $1 million of the American Rescue Plan Act funds into the program and offer a $20,000 non-repayment loan per unit to developers. He said the program focuses on developers either taking abandoned houses or empty lots and turning them into affordable housing family units.

“Those have infrastructure already there. The sewer, the water, the gas, electrics already nearby. So, unlike adding a subdivision on the edge of a town or out in the county where everything’s got to be created. Infill housing has a lot of advantages,” Austin said.

They have partnered with GREDF to help screen the proposals. President Kyle Moore said they will form a committee and come up with guidelines for the proposals. He said the point of the proposals is to bring affordable housing units to the area, which are based on the Adams County Housing Study they put out last year.

He said they have over 600 jobs that pay more than $35,000 open in the area, and only 100 houses on the market. He said the lack of housing hinders economic growth if it isn’t addressed.

“We need single-family houses. We need more affordable houses versus those that may cost $500,000 or $600,000. So those projects which address affordable housing would be ranked higher than something that would be an expensive house,” Moore said.

He said other factors they would consider include the timeline and funding needed. He said programs like these help compensate developers for their building materials, while at the same time meeting the housing needs. He said with rising costs of construction materials this can help a lot.

Moore said they will have the proposals written up and the board will vote on them at their next meeting in March, then it’ll be open to developers to apply.

Austin said after that, they will open the application process, and in June will start awarding projects. He said they want to get started in time for the June construction season.

If you would like to learn more about the GROW program you can call GREDF at 217-223-4313.

Published: Feb. 16, 2024 at 5:50 AM CST