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Housing

City, housing authority grapple over public housing

 

By Landon Cassman/Over the past decade, communities across the country have demolished or sold hundreds of thousands of public housing units.

Danville is aiming to be such a community.

Though it has yet to redevelop a single public housing unit, city officials and housing authority administrators are grappling over the future of Fair Oaks, the area’s largest family-occupied public housing complex, and plans for its own public housing stock. 

What’s more, city officials have also been slapped with a housing discrimination complaint based on a city plan to reduce public housing by more than half. 

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Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess/A row of apartments at Fair Oaks public housing complex in Danville, Ill.

Future of public housing in Danville remains uncertain

Over the past decade, communities across the country have demolished or sold hundreds of thousands of public housing units.

Danville is aiming to be such a community.

Though it has yet to redevelop a single public housing unit, city officials and housing authority administrators are grappling over the future of Fair Oaks, the area’s largest family-occupied public housing complex.

What’s more, city officials have also been slapped with a housing discrimination complaint based on a city plan to reduce public housing by more than half.

Produced by Landon Cassman

Explore the story below:

 

Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess/A row of apartments at Fair Oaks public housing complex in Danville, Ill.
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The Housing Gap in Champaign, Vermilion counties

The income of residents in Champaign and Vermilion counties has not kept pace with the increase of rent and as a result affordable housing is becoming harder to find.  

Champaign and Vermilion counties have seen many changes in their neighborhoods and housing stocks since the nation’s economic decline. Among the challenges: more renters are competing for safe and affordable housing; a growing demand is putting stress on existing assistance programs; people sometimes have strong, often negative perceptions of low-income housing.

Illinois Public Media and CU-CitizenAccess.org are taking a comprehensive look at housing issues during a day of programming Tuesday, March 27, on WILL-AM 580, WILL-TV and online.

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Darrell Hoemann/The New Holland Apartment complex Jan. 31, 2011, in downtown Danville. The five-story historic building was renovated into an affordable housing project after it fell into bankruptcy. It has since garnered several awards for its large-scale energy-efficient geothermal system and renovation efforts.

The Housing Gap: Videos

Neighborhood of Promise: Hope Meadows in Rantoul, Ill. is an intentional intergenerational community formed to support and serve adoptive families of foster children and a model for sustainable and affordable communities.

Neighborhood of Promise from Illinois Public Media on Vimeo.

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The Housing Gap: Neighborhoods

Below are selected stories of neighborhoods and issues we've covered in the past few years. 

 

 

 

Some neighborhoods leave pedestrians out in the street 

By Landon Cassman and Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess - The city of Champaign came up with a plan 25 years ago to repair deteriorating sidewalks. 

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The Housing Gap: Data, maps and reports

 Below are reports and data on housing demographics that we used for these stories. 

 

 

Champaign County Regional Housing Study (December 2010) 

Vacant properties: Growing number increases communities' costs and challenges (Goverment Accountability Office November 2011) 

 

 

Interactive map: Housing demographics by cities

Use the map below to see housing demographics in cities across Champaign and Vermilion counties. 

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The Housing Gap: Public housing needs

 

The Housing Authority of Champaign County manages more than 440 public housing units and over 1,200 housing choice vouchers, according to the Champaign County regional housing study.

At the time of the December 2010 report, there were more than 700 households on a waiting list for assistance.

The housing choice vouchers, also known as Section 8 vouchers, are federally subsidized rental vouchers and allow recipients to move to any single-family rental with an available landlord.  About 90 percent of the vouchers in the county are clustered in Champaign and Urbana.

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The Housing Gap: Increase in vacancy rates prompt action

 In Urbana, vacant housing units more than doubled from 2000 to 2010, going from nearly 1,000 units to more than 2,100

In Champaign, the number increased almost by half, from nearly 1,500 to more than 2,200 in vacant housing units.

In Danville, the number went up a fifth, from 1,559 to nearly 1,876

Altogether, according to Census data, the number of vacant housing units across Champaign and Vermilion counties has increased 43 percent between 2000 and 2010.

The Census data show that in the two counties about 7 percent of the housing was vacant, while as of 2010 nearly 9 percent is vacant.

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