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IHDA approves tax credits to support employer-assisted housing programs

The Illinois Housing Development Authority approved the first two applications for tax credits for employer-assisted housing on June 21, 2002.  The Corporation for Affordable Homes of McHenry County and the North West Housing Partnership submitted proposals for employers they are partnering with to offer down payment/closing costs assistance to workers.  The employers will make a contribution to the nonprofits for the employer-assisted housing program, and they will receive tax credits toward their state tax obligation.  For each dollar contributed, the employer is eligible for a $.50 tax credit.

North West Housing Partnership has partnered with Northwest Community Healthcare on its employer-assisted housing initiative.  Two employees have already purchased homes, with the hospital's assistance.

"We are thrilled to help our workers buy a home," said Mark Lusson, Northwest Community Healthcare's vice president for Human Resources.

Northwest Community offers $5,000 for down payment/closing cost assistance to help qualified employees purchase a home within 10 miles of the hospital.  If the employee stays with the hospital for five years, the loan will be completely forgiven.

Chroma Corporation in McHenry County will also benefit from tax credits.  The Corporation for Affordable Homes of McHenry County (CAHMCO) is working with the Metropolitan Planning Council and Chroma to design the right program for its employees.

A small McHenry manufacturer and supplier of color and compounds, senior management at Chroma had observed rising housing prices and recognized the need for resources to assist lower-income families.  By investing in an employer-assisted housing initiative, senior Chroma staff see the opportunity to help stabilize employees, get them closer to work and boost employee loyalty.  The program will be rolled-out to employees later this year.

CAHMCO is also working with other employers in McHenry County who will be able to take advantage of new state tax credits.

A new allocation of tax credits will be available for the 2003 fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2002.  The first round of applications is due July 10, 2002.  Applications will also be reviewed following a second round due Oct. 10.  For more information about employer-assisted housing, contact Samantha DeKoven.  Additional information about the state donations tax credit is available on IHDA's Web site or at the Chicago Department of Housing's site.  See also MPC resources, listed to the left of this article.

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