Four developers have been selected to rehabilitate vacant properties in suburban communities hard hit by foreclosures in Illinois.

Using $10 million in Illinois Jobs Now! funding, the developers will return approximately 75 single-family homes to the market in Berwyn, Chicago Heights, Maywood, Park Forest, and South Holland.

The first homes will be available for sale later this year.

Selected by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the participating developers are New Directions Housing Corp., which will focus its work in Berwyn; Mecca Cos., Inc., which will focus on Chicago Heights and South Holland; Housing Helpers, Inc., which will work in Maywood; and Tower Contracting, LLC, which will focus on Park Forest and South Holland.

The work is part of the Illinois Jobs Now! Initiative introduced by Gov. Pat Quinn to help communities stabilize neighborhoods.

Under the program, the funding limit is $100,000 for each home inclusive of a $10,000 developer fee and $15,000 of holding and soft costs. Developers will have 24 months to rehabilitate and sell the properties. For each property, there will be a 12-month marketing period after construction. The money generated from the sale will be invested toward a revolving fund administered by IHDA to purchase and rehabilitate additional properties.

Buyers can also take advantage of the affordable homeownership opportunities available under the Building Blocks program. The program provides incentives to potential buyers of a vacant home so they can attain the stability that homeownership brings, and helps communities reduce the risk of another abandoned property in the area. Homebuyers receive a low-interest IHDA first position mortgage (currently 3.5 percent) and $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance.

Buyers need not be a first-time homebuyer and must have:

  • A minimum FICO score of 600 that will enable more homebuyers to qualify;
  • An income not to exceed 140 percent of area median income, or $90,960 for a family of two and $106,120 for a family of three or more; and
  • Completed homeownership counseling.