In 1999, the Illinois Community Action Development Corporation (ICADC) was created by the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies (IACAA) and its member Community Action Agencies to increase the amount of affordable housing throughout Illinois.
Then, the primary mission of ICADC was to provide training and technical assistance so that Community Action Agencies have the capacity to develop affordable housing in rural communities to stabilize Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens, including veterans, senior citizens, families with low incomes and people living with mental illnesses. Today, the mission remains the same although it has been expanded to go beyond housing and include community and economic development endeavors.
Upon receiving training and technical assistance from ICADC, Community Action Agencies are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to serve as developers, property managers, owners or project sponsors.
Community Action Agencies and ICADC work together to address the lack of affordable housing in rural Illinois, as well as other vital issues for low-income families and communities across the state, including:
As in the case of its origination, ICADC continues to be supported by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).
ICADC focuses on affordable housing and community development in rural communities because it’s less likely for developers to pursue projects in those areas than in metro areas.
By offering training and technical assistance to Community Action Agencies, ICADC helps recipients learn about developing and managing a wide array of affordable housing and/or community development projects. Community Action Agencies also obtain first-hand experience by working in tandem with ICADC to allow them to pursue economic development projects on their own in the future.
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 agencies lack the necessary pre-development resources to get a project initiated. ICADC continues to work with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to provide pre-development financing mechanisms for local agency projects.
Sources of construction financing and permanent financing include the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB), DCEO Energy Efficiency Programs, and various local government financing mechanisms including but not limited to: permit fee waivers, water and sewer tap fee waivers, grant and loan funding through tax increment financing (TIF) districts, and enterprise zones.
ICADC’s training, technical assistance and direct involvement in development has yielded tangible outcomes, including progress toward the completion of a variety of real estate development projects for both renters and homeowners in rural areas. These rural areas were characterized as lacking affordable housing construction within the previous 40 years with distressed existing and aged housing stock. All of the housing projects developed are energy efficient and will remain affordable for low-income residents for years to come.