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We WILL Build

Equal Opportunity Housing and Communities 

Community Development Division local priorities, strategies, and objectives are articulated in the current 5-year Consolidated Plan (2020-2024).  The Division is committed to supporting the Fair Housing Act and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mission and aspires to “build strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all”

The Division utilizes a fair housing initiative called We WILL Build Equal Opportunity Housing & Communities for community development education and outreach.  Strong, sustainable and inclusive communities include diverse housing options, grounded in a safe built environment and connected to a network of healthy food options, health care, education, jobs, transportation, and open space.  By focusing on housing, the mission is aligned with HUD, which seeks to utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life. 

We WILL Build seeks to expand the range of opportunities for all by creating livable communities with diversity of housing stock in Will County.  Housing does more than provide shelter.  It provides stability, economic means, dignity, family ties and ultimately strengthens community.  Housing diversity in a community prevents homelessness, helps elderly residents age in place or downsize, helps divorced parents stay in close proximity to thier kids, allows for young adults to leave their parents' basements, prepares young families for establishing roots, and enables established families to raise engaged citizens.  Having diverse housing options and modern housing solutions inclusive of all lifestyles and incomes increases community resiliency and promotes economic development and prosperity.

Join us on this quest to balance housing stock with housing needs in Will County by engaging in the conversation and connect with us on Facebook @buildwillcounty for updates.

Fair Housing Month - April

Fair Housing Launch 

April 1, 2021 - Community Development Plans

10:00-11:30 Webex Listen & Learn

Will County receives annual grant allocations from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), the HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME), and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG). Come listen & learn about the current 5-year plan objectives and goals as we kick off April as Fair Housing month with a Proclamation from Will County Board.

Registration:  Complete - Thank you for attending!  PPT available on the left sidebar under April 1

National Community Development Week

HUD funding, applications and community partner spotlights

April 5 - April 9, 2021

10:00-11:30 Webex Listen & Learn

Community Development projects take vision, purpose, time, support, coordination, and FUNDS. During Community Development Week we will focus on sharing information about our grant funds and applications. Throughout the week we will also celebrate funded partners by sharing their story and our journey.

Monday, April 5:  ESG 101 (funds to address homelessness)  

Registration: Complete - Thank you for attending!  PPT available on the left sidebar under CD Week.

Community Partners Spotlight:  Will County Center for Community Concerns, Guardian Angel Community Services, Catholic Charities Daybreak

 

Tuesday, April 6:  HOME Funds 101  (funds for building, preserving and providing access to affordable housing)

Registration:  Complete - Thank you for attending!  PPT available on the left sidebar under CD Week.

Community Partner Spotlight:  Habitat for Humanity

 

Wednesday, April 7:  CDBG Public Service 101 (funds for social services)     

Registration:  Complete - Thank you for attending!  PPT available on the left sidebar under CD Week.

Community Partner Spotlight:  CASA of River Valley

 

Thursday, April 8:  CDBG Capital Improvements 101 (funds for public infrastructure and capital improvements)                           

Registration: Complete - Thank you for attending!  PPT available on the left sidebar under CD Week.

Community Partner Spotlight:  City of Joliet, Senior Services

 

Friday, April 9:  Access to Funding/Other funds 

Registration:  Complete - Thank you for attending!  PPT available on the left sidebar under CD Week.

Community Partner Spotlight:  Illinois Housing Development Authority - Hope Manor, Joliet                                                                    

Housing Task Force Tuesdays

Will County Housing Development Thought Leadership Group

Tuesdays in April

10:00-11:30 Webex Listen & Learn

America is a growing a diverse nation and Will County is no different.  Meeting our housing needs will require equally diverse options if we are to remain a place people are proud to call home. The strongest and most resilient communities incorporate a mix of housing types in their community because they understand that mixed housing stock, like any stock, has less risk than a concentrated portfolio of any one type of housing.  Join us on Tuesday to listen & learn about increasing housing options and inventory in Will County.

 

April 6:  HOME funds 101.  Learn about the basics of what is eligible with HOME funds, project readiness and applications 

Registration: Complete - Thank you for attending!  PPT available on the left sidebar under CD Week.

 

April 13: Affordable Housing Development.  This listen & learn will include presentations from affordable housing developers to learn how projects got started, how they got funded, their challenges, and outcomes.  The purpose is to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing and highlight partners that have been able to make it happen in Will County.

Registration: https://willcountyillinois.webex.com/willcountyillinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e1636cc1b61ccc2208eefa4344912b526

 

April 20: Community Builders Meet & Greet.  The need for diverse, affordable housing is great and the development process can be challenging and rewarding.  This listen & learn will include presentations from growing and emerging developers/owners/sponsors currently working on housing development projects at varying stages of development. The purpose is to learn about local projects and to allow for potential post meeting networking, problem solving, and collaborating.

  • Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County - Housing for Veterans - location TBD
  • Stepping Stones, Inc. - 8 unit women's recovery home - Joliet
  • Ezio Community Development Services - 32 single family units - unincorporated Joliet Township
  • TGG Group - mixed housing - unincorporated Lockport Township
  • Habitat for Humanity - 8 duplexes (16 units) - Elwood
  • TBA
  • TBA

Registration: https://willcountyillinois.webex.com/willcountyillinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3aa7bb41e650b64db5904b44aa4b3fab

 

April 27:  TBA

Registration: Coming soon!

Join us on this quest to balance housing stock with housing needs in Will County by engaging in the conversation and connect with us on Facebook @buildwillcounty for updates.

Equity Incubator Fridays

Community collaborations through an equity lens

Fridays in April 

10:00-11:30 Webex Listen & Learn

The Will County Consolidated Plan, the Will County Health Assessment, and the Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing all identify areas where rebalancing is needed to increase equity, diversity and inclusion.  We have identified health disparities, housing disparities and income disparities in Will County.  The issues are complex and the solutions will require the hands and hearts of many.  Join us for this Friday Equity Incubator series done in partnership with the Will County MAPP Collaborative to highlight some initiatives we are working on with partners to help close the gaps and comeback better.

Friday, April 9:  Improving Access to Funding

Registration: Complete - Thank you for attending!  PPT available on the left sidebar under CD Week.

Friday, April 16: Improving Access to Food

FOOD FOR ALL-For a Healthier Community- Join Will County MAPP Collaborative and Will County Community Development as they host the Local Food Access Task Force in a panel discussion addressing barriers to healthy food access in Will County and how the development of a Local Food Economy will not only improve health outcomes but end poverty in Will County. Panel members:

  • Nicole Garett, Director MAPP Collaborative
  • Kathy Pecora, Program Manager and Coordinator of the We WILL Grow School and Community Garden Program
  • Debra Upshaw, Director of the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Joliet Chapter
  • Allessandra Kummelehne, Director of South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium & Will County Regional Sustainability Network
  • Mark Schneidewind, Director Will County Farm Bureau
  • Katy Leclair, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Greater Joliet Area YMCA
  • Keith Sharp, Illinois Partners in Hope

Registration:https://willcountyillinois.webex.com/willcountyillinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3dc438e19d1737426c3831dcbf2d3c5b 

 

Friday, April 23:  Improving Access to Housing

Housing inequality has led to generational wealth gaps and many communities of color also experience high rates of poverty and low incomes. Affordable housing is in critically low supply and those who are most impoverished are most cost burdened, leaving households to choose between basic needs. Join us to hear from community partners as they share their efforts to increasing homeownership opportunities and increasing the quality of existing housing stock through home owner rehab programs.

  • Cornell Lurry, Midland States Bank
  • Kris White, Will County Center for Community Concerns
  • Robert Kalnicky, Community Service Council of Northern Will County
  • Carmen Carter, Carter Realty Group
  • Erica Holmes, Community Building Partnership

Registration: https://willcountyillinois.webex.com/willcountyillinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e792956a37cc6ee2860e90eb57bb1138c

Friday, April 30:  Improving Access to Health Care

Housing, Healthcare and Hope (HHH) Program.  Access to comprehensive, quality health care services is important for achieving health equity for all Americans.  Join us for this Listen & Learn to hear about the HHH Program which focuses on facilitating comprehensive healthcare access for individuals who are experiencing housing insecurity/homelessness. The Program provides free care coordination services to individuals who may or may not have access to health insurance, but are homeless or housing insecure. Addressing health-related needs of people who are homeless or at-risk is a key component of efforts to prevent and end homelessness; and stable housing is fundamental to both maintaining good health and minimizing the costs of unnecessary emergency room utilization and hospital admissions. The goal of this initiative is to reduce barriers commonly experienced by the homeless and housing insecure. The Program includes a new component called ACT, which is a way of delivering comprehensive and effective services to consumers who have needs that have not been well met by traditional approaches to delivering services. At the heart of ACT is a transdisciplinary team of 10 to 12 practitioners who provide services to consumers instead of brokering services from other agencies or providers.  ACT participants include WGMC, Will County’s Executive Office- Substance Abuse, Will County Behavioral Health Division PATH Program, and Will County Behavioral Health Division.

Registration: https://willcountyillinois.webex.com/willcountyillinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e1aa53d787f4155266e431042042fe341

Engage in the conversation and connect with us on Facebook @buildwillcounty for updates.