Although larger metro areas are typically rich with talented developers specializing in building affordable housing, rural areas within Illinois have been neglected. Many factors present within rural areas contribute to making the development of affordable housing cost prohibitive. ICADC is committed to working with rural communities to ensure they obtain access to the resources they require to adequately address their housing needs. An added benefit due to this focused effort of ICADC is economic development. Businesses consider the presence of sufficient, affordable housing stock to be a significant factor when selecting markets to enter.
ICADC offers Training &Technical Assistance (T&TA) to the Community Action network and some external organizations. The T&TA provides the recipients with an opportunity to learn about developing and managing a wide array of affordable housing projects while also obtaining first-hand experience by working in tandem with ICADC to develop an affordable housing project. ICADC has supported numerous Community Action Agencies with one-on-one technical assistance either from in-house staff or outside consultants. ICADC also provides financial support to new projects because most CAAs lack the necessary pre-development resources to get a project initiated. ICADC intends to continue working with the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to provide pre-development funds for local Community Action Agency projects.
There are multiple resources that are required to develop affordable housing. The location of the project is a primary key in order to make the best use of the multiple funding that goes into each project. Studies have shown that it does little good to provide affordable housing if it requires extraordinary time and transportation costs on behalf of the residents.
Since the creation of ICADC in 1999, the training, technical assistance and direct involvement in development has yielded tangible outcomes. These outcomes included real progress towards the completion of a variety of real estate development projects for both renters and home owners in rural areas. These rural areas were characterized as lacking affordable housing construction within the previous forty (40) years. All of the housing projects developed are energy efficient and will remain affordable for low-income residents in the future.