Local non-profit seeks housing grant for East Bluff residents

By Denise Jackson

July 8, 2013 Updated Jul 9, 2013 at 10:34 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- One organization in central Illinois is teaming up to increase housing options in Peoria's East Bluff neighborhood.

LISC, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, is vying for an $11 million grant for East Bluff residents.

"We've submitted our initial proposal, we're waiting to hear for our follow-up meeting but, based on some initial feedback now, I anticipate that our proposal is gonna be viewed fairly highly," said LISC Executive Director Brandon Holmes.

The money is just part of a $70 million grant known as the National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement Award.

If Peoria wins part of the grant, it would be used to make improvements to East Bluff homes. The area is largely made up of a lot of older structures.

East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services Executive Director Kristina Gamez said new and revitalized homes would brighten the landscape.

"Some of them have been lost to foreclosure, sometimes the residents are elderly and can't keep it up anymore and so they move someplace else. There's a lot of rental property," said Gamez.

One resident said the grant could also push more residents to take ownership.

"I think a lot of people will be encouraged and want to buy a home. Some of them have never owned a home before," said East Bluff resident Latonya Griffin.

LISC hopes to know by the fall whether or not Peoria will be awarded the housing grant.