Durbin Tours Rock Island Neighborhood Revitalized By Stimulus Funding

[ROCK ISLAND, IL] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Representative Phil Hare today visited a neighborhood that has seen vacant homes turned into affordable housing as a result of more than $21 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants made possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


“The dramatic increase of foreclosures in cities and towns across America is at the heart of the economic crisis,” Durbin said. “The Quad Cities competed fiercely for the vast majority of the funding the community received. It has put the money to good use by revitalizing areas that have been hardest hit by foreclosures and putting the region back on the path toward long-term economic growth.”


“Projects like this are more and more important as we fight to jumpstart our economy and create jobs,” Hare said. It puts people to work, improves property values for struggling neighborhoods, and provides quality affordable housing. Improving local housing invests in the long term economy and quality of life of our communities. This program is a win for Rock Island, Moline and Sterling.”


The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was created as part of the Recovery Act in order to aid the purchase and rehabilitation of vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed-upon homes and residential properties with the goal of selling, renting, or redeveloping those properties, and to demolish vacant, blighted structures, and to redevelop those properties as housing. Illinois originally received $53 million from NSP and distributed it to 18 organizations around the state, including the City of Rock Island, which received $3.1 million.


During its second round of funding, NSP has awarded $1.93 billion to grantees nationwide in order to make neighborhoods that were still bring rocked by foreclosures safer and more economically viable. Competition for these grants was fierce: HUD received 482 applications for more than $15 billion in funding requests and awarded a total of only 56 grants nationwide, six of which were awarded to Illinois, including to the City of Rock Island.


The Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation—a consortium that includes the Cities of Moline, Rock Island, and Sterling, and the Illinois Housing Development Authority—was awarded $18.5 million. With this funding, they plan to plan to demolish, rehabilitate or build 127 units of housing, which will bring more than 2,500 new jobs to the community and lay a new foundation for long-term economic strength.


“These funds have been used to stabilize areas that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment, and to combat the debilitating effect these problems create, including reduced property values and neighborhood decay,” said Durbin. “Before the foreclosure crisis hit, areas that had suffered from years of neglect were beginning to thrive thanks to community planning and public and private investment. To preserve this progress in the midst of the foreclosure crisis, we need to get behind the programs designed to stabilize neighborhoods, protect past investments, and foster affordability in the long-run.”