BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington has been awarded state grant money to help disabled people make their homes more accessible.
The City Council is expected to approve the $100,000 Illinois Housing Development Authority Home Accessibility Program (HAP) grant when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall. The council's meeting was moved because of Memorial Day.
In October 2017, the McLean County Regional Planning Commission released the BN Home Regional Housing Study. One area of the survey addressed the housing needs of three special needs populations — low income, elderly and persons with disabilities.
"So in the fall of 2018, the city applied for a grant to help with home accessibility and mobility rehabilitation, and we got it. We're very, very pleased," said Deputy City Manager Billy Tyus.
In addition to traditional rehabilitation, the money can be used to install specialized equipment such as a stair lift and pay for extended warranties to cover future equipment repairs or replacements, said Tyus.
"We also have been working with associations and entities that represent disabled communities ... and we're pleased that this is another example of being able to come up with tools and solutions for some of the needs that the disabled community may have," said Tyus.
The assistance is limited to people over age 60 with a physical limitation and/or people of any age with a physical or mental impairment, city officials said.
The program offers up to $25,000 per property, which can be either an individually owned home or a rental unit, with zero interest, five-year forgivable mortgages, said city grants coordinator Jennifer Toney. At the end of five years, the mortgage becomes a grant and no repayment is required, she added.
IHDA requires the city to only accept referrals for the program from local agencies funded by the Illinois Department of Human Services and Illinois Department of Aging.
Toney said the city will announce when it is ready to begin receiving referrals locally through PATH (Providing Access To Help), Marcfirst, Peace Meals and Life Center for Independent Living.
In other business, the council will consider:
Contract terms are similar to those negotiated with about 100 Local 699 members who work for the zoo, public works and parks, recreation and cultural arts departments.
• Approving Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty to exclusively list and market the sale of the city-owned former Mennonite Hospital/Electrolux site and two adjacent parcels owned by Illinois Wesleyan University in the 800 block of North Main Street for future redevelopment.
There are no formal development proposals under consideration, but if the properties are sold, CBCDR will receive a fixed commission of $100,000, with the city paying about 73 percent and IWU 27 percent of the amount.