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Will County HOME Consortium funds awarded to Cornerstone Services, Inc for renovations on two group homes

Two group homes operated by Cornerstone Services, Inc.in Joliet have been selected for renovations by the Will County Community Development Division, the lead entity for the County’s HOME Consortium, and the City of Joliet, a member of this HOME Consortium. The HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), provides grants to state and local governments to create affordable housing for low-income households.

“The HOME program provides an excellent source for funding to help maintain safe housing for some of the most vulnerable residents in our county,” said County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

The County receives this annual federal funding to be allocated for qualified projects through a competitive application process. The County’s HOME Program provides funding for a wide range of activities including building, buying, and/or rehabilitating affordable housing for rent or homeownership or providing direct rental assistance to low-income people.

More than $100,000 of these federal funds will be directed towards renovations at the two group homes, specifically for bathroom repairs, replacement of windows and front doors, and improvements to fire safety systems. One home serves four individuals and the other has eight residents, all with developmental disabilities and under the care and supervision of Cornerstone Services. The agency currently operates 36 group homes in the county.

“These group homes have been very successful for our clients,” said Ben Stortz, president and CEO of Cornerstone Services, Inc. “We also want to be good neighbors to those in our community. So these improvements will go a long way to improving the quality of life for our clients while also preserving the neighborhoods in which they live.”

Stortz said the residents take great pride in their home—and work with agency staff to keep it well-maintained inside and out.

“Many of our clients who live in these group homes have jobs and are active members of the community,” he said. “These are comfortable homes and the clients have their own bedrooms. We are fortunate to have support from Joliet and the county.”

HOME funds encourage public/private partnerships in the development of affordable housing and require a 25 percent match from nonfederal sources, which may include donated materials or labor, the value of donated property, proceeds from bond financing, and other resources. Financing is disbursed through low-interest loans or grants to qualified projects.

Notice of available funding for program year 2021 HOME funds will be announced in April. A workshop will also be held in April during National Community Development Week for prospective applicants and interested parties. For more information about Will County’s Community Development grant programs, call Martha Sojka at (815) 774-7890 visit the website: www.willcountylanduse.com or connect on Facebook @buildwillcounty for community development updates.

For more information about Cornerstone Services, Inc., visit the website: www.cornerstoneservices.org.

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