East Alton donates lots to county to build new house

EDWARDSVILLE – East Alton Village Council has approved the granting of two vacant lots to Madison County for the construction of subsidized low to moderate income housing.

The county will hand over the property to Justine Peterson Housing and Reinvestment Corp., a non-profit organization that has been involved in similar projects in Madison County in the past.

The transfer was approved at the village board meeting on Tuesday.

The lots, located at 206 and 508 Washington, will be turned over to the Justine Peterson organization, according to Walt Williams, Madison County’s community development economic development coordinator.

The construction of the houses will be partially subsidized by community development funds. The Justine Peterson Corp. has done similar projects in other parts of the county, particularly in the Madison / Granite City area.

The county council approved participation and funding for the program in September.

Williams said one of the issues is that due to property values ​​in targeted areas, it costs more to build new homes than homes that can’t be sold. The grants provide an incentive to build, which will eventually put properties back on the tax roll, and help increase and improve the housing stock in affected areas.

“We believe homeownership is a value we agree with, and homeowners will take better care of the property,” said Williams. “There is a big subsidy, but if we can encourage home ownership, people will take better care of their communities. “

Although the program has been around for years, no houses were built in 2019 and 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The homes are among eight slated for construction over the next year, including four in the East Alton / Wood River / Roxana area and four in Madison / Granite City.

The construction cost will be approximately $ 175,000 each. Williams noted that grant amounts and who will participate in the program have not yet been determined.