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Pritzker, US Housing Secretary Fudge to discuss COVID-19 economic recovery program

Gov. Pritzker will meet with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Fudge on Monday morning to discuss Illinois' Build Back Better agenda.
Credit: AP
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker will meet with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge on Monday morning to discuss the state’s Build Back Better agenda.

Watch Pritzker's Monday morning news conference here:

Governor Pritzker joins U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia L. Fudge to discuss the Build Back Better agenda and Latino Communities

Governor Pritzker joins U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Marcia L. Fudge to discuss the Build Back Better agenda and Latino Communities.

Posted by Governor JB Pritzker on Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Casa Queretaro is a 45-unit affordable housing complex, according to architecture firm Site Design Group. The goal, when creating the rental properties, was to support affordable housing for the community while also developing what was previously an abandoned industrial site in a sustainable way.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot noted how creating more successful housing projects like Casa Queretaro is in the plans for Illinois.

"If the infrastructure bill and reconciliation bill get passed," Lightfoot said, "that is going to exponentially increase the opportunities for us to present good, solid affordable housing options for families."

Illinois has viewed housing support as an important investment of federal COVID-19 relief funding.

"We've been very proud in the state of Illinois to be one of the leading states distributing support for housing - particularly rental assistance - for people across our state who have been hurt during the pandemic," Pritzker said during the conference.

So far, the state has distributed over $443 million in federal Build Back Better funds for housing assistance, and Illinois has asked the federal government to send additional unused funds from other states to continue its efforts, Pritzker said.

The federally funded Build Back Better Regional Challenge was designed to accelerate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic nationwide and help local economies become more resilient to future economic crises, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

RELATED: Over $700M in COVID relief funds available to IL cities

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) invited eligible applicants to form regional coalitions to apply for funding of projects in their region. Funding to the coalitions will be awarded in phases:

  • Phase 1: 50-60 regional coalitions of partnering entities will be awarded about $500,000 in technical assistance funds to develop and support three to eight projects to grow a regional growth cluster.
  • Phase 2: EDA will award 20-30 regional coalitions $25-75 million, and up to $100 million, to implement those projects.

Eligible applicants, according to the EDA, include a(n):

  • District organization of an EDA-designated Economic Development District.
  • Native tribe or a consortium of native tribes.
  • State, county, city or other political subdivision of a state.
  • Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education.
  • Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a state.

The deadline for submission of Build Back Better Phase 1 applications is Oct. 19.