With $2 million to give out, McHenry County looking for affordable housing projects

Eligible projects include acquisition, rehabilitation of existing housing, as well as construction of new affordable housing

Developers and nonprofits looking to bring new affordable housing options to McHenry County could be eligible for a piece of more than $2 million in federal money.

The McHenry County Community Development Department is accepting applications for qualifying projects, which can include the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing housing and the construction of new affordable housing.

Applications will be reviewed by county staff, and then recommendations will be considered by the McHenry County Board for approval, according to the application materials.

The county can distribute up to $760,000 to developers and nonprofits for the acquisition and rehabilitation of scattered-site or multifamily housing, according to the documents. The county is looking to add at least 15 new units of affordable housing, preferably with attached supportive services.

The money is part of the in federal American Rescue Plan, a COVID-19 pandemic recovery package approved earlier this year that allocated $5 billion to assist those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness through housing, rental assistance and supportive services, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

McHenry County can distribute another $1.25 million from the federal package for new construction of affordable and supportive housing, according to the county documents. The county is looking to develop at least an additional 25 units through this avenue.

The county also can distribute $105,000 from the federal Community Development Block Grant, which is separate from the American Rescue Plan, according to a news release. That includes up to $80,000 for site clearance and utility installation for affordable housing and up to $25,000 for administrative costs so the applicant can pursue tax credits, other affordable housing financing options or other federal funding.

The application, instructions and eligibility criteria can be found on the McHenry County Community Development Department’s website at www.mchenrycountyil.gov/cd. The deadline to apply is noon July 6.

A virtual meeting for interested applicants will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday at global.gotomeeting.com/join/186851573.

Applicants will be required to present their project to the Community Development and Housing Grant Commission at its July 14 meeting, which will be held in person and not virtually. Funding for approved projects will be available on or after Oct. 1.

Emily K. Coleman

Originally from the northwest suburbs, Emily K. Coleman is the associate editor for the Northwest Herald. She spent about seven years prior to that with Shaw Media, first covering the town of Dixon for Sauk Valley Media and then various communities within McHenry County from 2012 to 2016.