Anyone lucky enough to be in the third floor conference room at the Illinois REALTORS® building between Feb. 1 and 7 had a front-row seat for the demolition of the old YWCA building on the northwest corner of 5th and Jackson streets. The building has been taken down to make way for a future urban park and pedestrian walkway that will connect the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Illinois State Capitol.
Delays for municipal point-of-sale inspections, required reinspections and occupancy permits – as well as excessive inspections beyond “health and safety” violations – were topics discussed by Illinois REALTORS®, Hazel Crest Mayor Vernard Alsberry, Jr., and Hazel Crest Village Manager Donna Gayden Wednesday.
IAR Local Government Affairs Director Tom Joseph, Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® South Government Affairs Committee Chair Diane Abell (a broker for Coldwell Banker in Flossmoor) and Jermaine Coney, Broker Prestige Partners Realty, represented Illinois REALTORS®.
Alsberry and Gayden pledged to “rectify these delays in administering the village inspection process. Both acknowledged the need to encourage real estate and not impede it.”
An IAR economic impact study detailing the importance and local value of real estate transactions was shared with Alsberry and Gayden. Other discussion topics included the declining foreclosure market and overall improvement in the real estate market.
A panel of economists met with IAR’s CEO along with IAR Public Policy and Advocacy staff in Chicago to discuss economic shifts in the state and what they might mean for the real estate industry and the broader economy.
The meeting, held Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, looked at migration patterns, job growth and other indicators of how the state is faring in the post-Recession era.
Joining IAR were:
- Dr. Geoffrey Hewings, director of the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.
- Alexei Tchistyi, associate professor of finance and director of the Office of Real Estate Research, University of Illinois.
- David Cleeton, Professor of Economics and Department Chair, Illinois State University.
- William Polley, associate professor of economics, Western Illinois University.
- Curtis Dubay, research fellow in tax and economic policy at The Heritage Foundation.
Jason Horwitz, senior consultant with Anderson Economic Group in Chicago led off presentations with an overview of his research.
A report from the research being conducted by the economists is planned in the future.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced today that 2,830 first-time home buyers in 85 counties have reserved more than $360 million in financing since the Welcome Home Illinois program was launched in April.
The program – administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) – set an IHDA record for public response to its mortgage financing. Welcome Home Illinois offers $7,500 in down-payment assistance, with an interest rate as low as 3.75 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, to qualifying Illinois residents.
Quinn, who has proclaimed June as “Homeownership Month,” seeks to make homeownership more affordable to first-time buyers through the program, and thus spur economic growth in the state. He announced the project will create about 1,400 new jobs in Illinois.
Read more about the Welcome Home Illinois program, including details on eligibility requirements and a list of participating lenders.
The Chicago Tribune reports today that the Treasury Department has given Illinois the go-ahead to use $30 million in federal hardest-hit funds to tear down vacant and blighted properties. The idea is to target communities with high vacancy rates that were hit hard by the foreclosure crisis for the Blight Reduction Program, to be administered through the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the newspaper reports. Click here to read the full Tribune article.
In other headlines:
Regulators Seek to Raise Qualifications of Appraisers – REALTOR® Magazine