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$12M Awarded to Illinois for Housing for Disabled
Springfield resident Nikki Redmond gives us a tour of her home that's wheelchair accessible. The 32-year old has cerebral palsy and has lived in the home for three years with roommates. Staff with United Cerebral Palsy Land of Lincoln are always on-hand.
"We are normal people like y'all," Redmond said.
UCP received funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, to build the home Redmond lives in. Nikki Redmond also receives HUD subsidies.
"I'm very grateful," she said.
Now, more Illinoisians with disabilities will have the opportunity to live independently. HUD has awarded Illinois nearly $12 million to make up to 825 apartments affordable for people who have special needs and are in financial need.
"As we see around the state and even in the city, the need continues to grow for this population and what we want to do is make ourselves available to be able to help," said Jackie Newman, the executive director of the Springfield Housing Authority.
She plans for the agency to apply for some of the funding.
More than 3,000 people are on a waiting list with the Springfield Housing Authority, and about 600 say they have a disability.
Units with S.H.A. are first-come, first-serve, and 99 percent are full.
During last week's State of the State address, Gov. Pat Quinn talked about expanding housing efforts for those with disabilities.
"We're committed to making sure all our citizens, regardless of the challenges they face, have the opportunity to reach their full potential," he said.
Owners of properties that offer income-restricted housing will be eligible to apply for part of the $12 million later this year.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority will award the subsidies.
Illinois received the third-largest award nationally.