The concept of affordable housing is complicated and multi-dimensional. Its central principal is that a community’s housing stock should align with the economic status of people seeking housing. Ideally, people at every income bracket will find a selection of housing options that answer their needs but do not demand so much of their income that it limits the household’s ability to obtain other necessities.

January 2019


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The Bloomington-Normal (BN) Region has seen an increase of housing prices for rental and real-estate properties during the past three years. Changes to residential zoning to allow for different housing typologies such as duplexes and triplexes, is seen as a way to increase housing affordability and housing diversity. With the idea of finding options to increase affordable housing in BN, this white paper was developed to identify policy changes successfully implemented in cities and states in the U.S. to allow for different housing typologies or “missing middle housing” in the typical Detached Single-Family Residential (DSFR) Zones.

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Income-Qualified Housing refers to housing affordability for households making less than 80% of the area median income. The area median income (AMI) is the household income for the median, or middle, household in a region.

July 2022

August 2021

April 2020                                   

February 2019


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A property, unit or voucher that is “income-qualified” receives some level of financial assistance to maintain affordability for households making less than 80% AMI, while keeping up with maintenance and other expenses. This financial assistance is provided either at the time of development (via tax credits to the developer) or as ongoing subsidy payments. In either case, affordability requirements or subsidies have expiration dates based on individual contracts with the federal government. The purpose of this paper is to explain the different types of assistance and, quantify the availability of income-qualified housing units and compare that to the need of such units in McLean County.

December 2021

July 2020

June 2019


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The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) offers affordable housing developers the ability to reduce their debt service by selling allocated tax credits to investors. In return, recipients are required to maintain affordability in their units for a 15-year “initial compliance period” where they are monitored by the IRS, followed by another 15- year “extended use period” where they are monitored by the state housing finance agency. The purpose of this paper is to identify the barriers to preserving the affordability of the properties after restrictions expire, and to identify local strategies that could help preserve affordability for existing and future LIHTC units.

May 2023

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