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DECATUR — Decatur is set to receive $1.8 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for economic development and housing assistance for low- to moderate-income residents. 

The funding is slightly above the $1.5 million awarded to Decatur last year through two federal programs. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill. issued a joint statement Tuesday announcing the allocation. 

The additional $300,000 comes as a welcome surprise for the city, according to Richelle Irons, the city's neighborhood services manager. "To receive more than expected, that's always good."

The money will allow the city to modestly expand the services it already provides in the neighborhood services division, Irons said, many of which relate to home rehabilitation. Irons said that given Decatur's aging housing stock, many homeowners eligible for the programs often have costly maintenance issues.

"We might spend $30,000 to $40,000 per unit," so the increased funding could translate to making repairs to several additional houses, she said.

Irons said she doesn't yet know when the city will receive the funding from HUD, but the federal department has officially notified the city of the grant amounts.

Just under $1.4 million will come through Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, a $3 billion effort that funds local improvement initiatives. The city in the past has used this funding for projects such as: 

Decatur also received $444,741 from the federal housing agency's HOME Investment Partnerships Program. 

“This funding will help ensure that Decatur’s most vulnerable residents have access to safe housing and economic opportunities,” Durbin said in a statement. “I will continue to fight alongside Senator Duckworth to support these federal programs that promote the health and well-being of Illinois residents.”

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Contact Tom Lisi at (217) 421-6949. Follow him on Twitter: @tommylisi

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Decatur Reporter

Decatur reporter for the Herald & Review.

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