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The Housing Gap: Key findings

Renting in Chamapaign and Vermilion Counties

  • From 2000 to  2010, fair market rents for a two-bedroom apartment in the two counties of Champaign and Vermilion have increased more than 30 percent.
  •  For Champaign County, fair market rent went up from about $600 to more than $800 for a two-bedroom apartment.
  •  For Vermilion County, fair market rent  increased from about $400 to $600 for a two-bedroom apartment in.



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The Housing Gap: Rents on the rise in Champaign, Vermilion counties

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

Census data from 2000 and 2010 and recent housing studies shows there are more renters, but that many can’t afford to pay fair market rent. The data and studies also reveal that the number of vacant units has skyrocketed.

“The housing needs haven’t changed. In fact, they’ve gotten worse for the people who need them,” said Thom Pollock, executive director of Crosspoint Human Services.

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Darrell Hoemann/The News-Gazette/Barbara Donaldson inside the kitchen of her home Jan. 31, 2011, at the New Holland apartments in downtown Danville.The historic building was renovated into an affordable housing project after it fell into bankruptcy. Donaldson has lived here for six years. This subsidized apartment gave her another housing option when she looked for a place to live.

Court date set for Cherry Orchard landlord

By Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess -- A court date has been set for next week for a landlord who was arrested last month on contempt of court warrants issued after he and his son failed to appear at hearings in connection with substandard housing they managed south of Rantoul.

Eduardo Ramos faces a court date of March 23. He was arrested Feb. 25 on two contempt-of-court warrants at the Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

Ramos was arrested just after he had arrived from an international flight and held by custom officials, who in turn contacted the airport authority police who took him to Loudoun County, Virginia, until he could be extradited to Illinois, according to airport and  Loudoun County, Virginia, officials.

Court file/This diagram shows the flow of sewage from six of the eight buildings that make up the Cherry Orchard apartment complex.

Homeless man finds permanent shelter

By Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess -- A faith-based group in Champaign that’s trying to find housing for the area’s most vulnerable homeless residents has completed its first successful match.

C-U At Home connected Vernon Chounard to a two-bedroom rental home - his first home since 2000.

The group will pay for utilities while the property owners – Deana and Luke Hammock - will forgo the $500 dollar monthly rent until April.

Chounard moved in Tuesday afternoon during a public housewarming party and said that having a place to live means everything.

Pam G. Dempsey/ Chounard poses in his new bedroom in Tuesday in Champaign. Chounard is the first homeless person to be placed under efforts by C-U At Home, a local group that aims to connect the area's vulnerable homeless population to permenant housing.

Uncertain TIMES: State cuts jeopardize program for homeless men

By Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess -- On an average night last year, nearly 60 homeless men didn't have to sleep on the streets of Champaign-Urbana thanks to the TIMES Center.

But like so many other service providers in Illinois, the transitional housing program for homeless men, located near downtown Champaign, faces an uncertain future as a result of the state’s ongoing fiscal morass. In the state budget that took effect July 1, the TIMES Center, 70 E. Washington St., saw grant funding from the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity slashed by a combined $95,000, officials said.

Dan Petrella/CU-CitizenAccess -- The TIMES Center, a Champaign transitional shelter for homeless men, faces an uncertain future due to the state's on going monetary woes.

Public housing residents begin to move

CHAMPAIGN --- For Daphne Dalton, her move from Joann Dorsey Homes to a three-bedroom rental near Kirby Street and Mattis Avenue was a good one. 

But it would not have happened unless the Housing Authority of Champaign County  had reconsidered and raised the amount that its vouchers would pay for rent, residents said.

“This house we’ve got now, that’s the nicest house we’ve ever lived in, it’s the nicest neighborhood we ever lived in . I’m happy they raised the vouchers,” said the 20-year single mom. 

Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess/A U-Haul truck sits outside a building at Joann Dorsey Homes apartment complex Sept. 1, 2011. Dozens of residents have moved from the property following an increase in rental vouchers.

Public housing residents have hard time finding new places to live

By Pam G. Dempsey, and Sean Powers, Illinois Public Media/ CHAMPAIGN ---  About a dozen residents from Joann Dorsey Homes and Dunbar Court protested outside of the Champaign County Housing Authority Wednesday to bring to light the troubles they have had finding a new place to live. (Read their letter here)

Their protest had the intended effect - a meeting with housing authority officials within the next week or so and increased help to find a place to live.

Pam G. Dempsey/CU-CitizenAccess/Public housing residents protest outside of the Champaign County Housing Authority offices next to the Virginia Theatre Wednesday, July 27, 2011.

Temporary restraining order extended for building at Cherry Orchard

By Pam G. Dempsey/ - A Champaign County judge extended a temporary restraining order Friday that gives public health officials the power to keep one building at an unsafe apartment complex north of Thomasboro closed.

Judge John Kennedy granted a 10-day restraining order late last week after several witnesses testified that at least one building on the Cherry Orchard Village apartment complex is still being rented.

See also …

Illinois Public Media: Health officials post eviction notices at Cherry Orchard

Courtesy photo/Champaign County Public Health Department/County health officials boarded up this building on the Cherry Orchard Apartment complex last weekend after evicting about 60 people from the property.

¨ Copyright 2011 CU-CitizenAccess.