Showing posts with label LISC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LISC. Show all posts

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Saving homes in the East Bluff isn't part of the plan

Why are Third District Councilman Tim Riggenbach and associates with the East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services (“EBNHS”) acting as if they are surprised that houses are now being demolished in the East Bluff?

There is no plan or real desire to save historical homes on the East Bluff. Why? Because it would be contrary to the so called "neighborhood revitalization initiative" involving the Greater Peoria Local Initiative Support Corp. ("LISC"), EBNHS, Chicago-based IFF developers, the state of Illinois and the city of Peoria.

In an article that ran in the March 15, 2016 Peoria Journal Star, Riggenbach credited LISC for being awarded a $3 million grant from the Illinois Attorney General to help fund the initiative. The money came from the state’s share of settlement funds from national foreclosure suits against a variety of banks (not clear if this includes US Bank, the owner of the now demolished Frye property).

In the March article, the executive director of  LISC, said his organization looks to build six single-family homes in the East Bluff while rehabbing eight others. The work is to be completed in the next two years.

In the same article, Riggenbach said that 20 dilapidated homes in the East Bluff are scheduled to be demolished in 2016, adding that a recent LISC program involved 120 projects in 60 different East Bluff homes. Those projects range from applying lipstick new paint, to putting on a new porch in some homes.

A look at the work being done on the rehabbed homes will show that the work is sub-par and in several instances, the residents have complained to the EBNHS. One porch in particular was torn out accidentally and had to be replaced, while the concrete stairs on a house in the 1800 block of Wisconsin remain unfinished for close to a year.

The EBNHS, who is responsible for hiring the contractors to work on the rehabbed homes, recently ran out of money claiming “unforeseen expenses” rehabbing the homes in the Community Core. Those unforeseen expenses are said to include a new furnace for one property, garage repairs for another property, something that cost $4,337.57, something that cost $10,109.80 and something else that cost $15,000.

The East Bluff Neighborhood Special Services District Contract between EBNHS and the City of Peoria, was recently revised to allow LISC to restructure the EBNHS Board, following a retreat with the City of Peoria.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

LISC to have input on East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services Board and Bylaws. Why?


Section 1(f) "The composition of the EBNHS Board shall be restructured and the bylaws revised, as necessary, following a board retreat facilitated by the LISC and the City of Peoria."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

EBNHS diverts Special Service Area funds AGAIN.

"... funds that were specifically designated for the Health & Safety Loan Program were diverted to EBNHS operational expenses and to fund the Community Core initiative. Further, we understand that some of the matching funds that the EBNHS was to contribute to the Health & Safety Loan Program were not deposited in the segregated Health & Safety Program account. In total, we believe that approximately $29,447 of funds have either been used for non-permitted purposes and/or not deposited into the Health & Safety Program in violation of Section 3 of the Agreement."
This statement is from a May 2, 2016 Default Letter the City of Peoria sent to Kristina Gamez, Executive Director of EBNHS:

The EBNHS response - raise rents to pay the money back:

And then the City Council "forgave" the diverted funds and gave them more tax dollars from the East Bluff Special Taxing District:

According to Gamez: The money — about $25,000 — was spent on a new furnace for one property and garage repairs for another, among other things.

City resuming tax payments to east bluff organization...

Rest in peace Mr. Sandberg.