East Alton gives lots to county for new home construction

Katie ArnoldJP In The News, News, Other News

From The Telegraph.

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Madison County

EDWARDSVILLE – The East Alton Village Board has approved giving two vacant lots to Madison County for construction of subsidized low- to moderate-income housing.

The county will pass the property to the Justine Peterson Housing and Reinvestment Corp., a nonprofit which has participated in similar projects in Madison County in the past.

The transfer was approved at Tuesday’s Village Board meeting.

The lots, located at 206 and 508 Washington, will be turned over to the Justine Peterson organization, according to Walt Williams, Madison County Community Development economic development coordinator.

The construction of the homes will be partially subsidized with Community Development funds. The Justine Peterson Corp. has performed similar projects in other parts of the county, specifically the Madison/Granite City area.

The County Board approved participation and funding for the program in September.

Williams said one of the issues is because of the property values within the targeted areas, the construction of new homes costs more than the houses can be sold for. The subsidies provide an incentive to build, which will eventually put the properties back on the tax rolls, and help increase and improve the housing stock in the affected areas.

“We believe that home ownership is a value that we agree with, and homeowners will take better care of the property,” Williams said. “There is a large subsidy, but if we can encourage home ownership, people will take better care of their communities.”

While the program has been in existence for years, no homes were built in 2019 and 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The homes are among eight planned for construction over the next year, including four in the East Alton/Wood River/Roxana area, and four in Madison/Granite City.

The construction cost will be about $175,000 each. Williams noted the subsidy amounts nor who will participate in the program have not been determined yet.