DANVILLE – When the New Holland Apartments building started seeing residents again in 2006, there were inquiries as to the tenants and what type of housing would go in the renovated building.
Now similar questions are being asked by west downtown residents and others in response to the Housing Authority of the City of Danville's plans for constructing housing on lots in the downtown area.
Crosspoint Human Services Executive Director Chad Hays said some of the 43 units in the New Holland, across from the Danville Public Library, are market rate, based on income and some are used through the arrangement with Crosspoint at the Y for people in transitional housing situations.
Hays said some people have unthinkable things happen to them and Crosspoint assists them to get a new start.
“The units are generally at capacity,” Hays said of the building. He also said they haven’t had situations through the years where police needed to be called about tenants.
“We really haven’t had issues of that nature. It’s not been the case and we’re able to secure those units,” Hays said.
There is a property manager, a Crosspoint staff member, who lives on site. Security measures include electronic key access and video monitoring.
Hays also added having a courtyard area with green space, grills and other amenities make the building feel more like home for tenants in that urban setting. He said the building, which really is two buildings that look like one, is a “lovely architectural structure.”
The 40-plus apartments at 324 N. Vermilion St. were habitable again after Crosspoint Human Services renovated the building at a cost of about $5 million.
Hays said they are now in the 14th year of a 15-year agreement. Funding for the project came from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Enterprise Social Investment Corporation, First Midwest Bank, city and Crosspoint Human Services.
Hays said the multi-layered tax credit financing arrangement ends in 2020 and there will be “different options that would be available” such as “refinancing using the same kind of dynamic.” It involves individuals meeting criteria, willing to invest in housing and receiving tax credits. He added they will be doing their due diligence and looking toward the future.
Crosspoint Human Services, which provides mental health, developmental and housing services to people in Vermilion County, acquired the more than 100-year-old building in 2001. Renovations were last completed in 1989-90. The building consists of three-bedroom, two-bedroom and one-bedroom apartments.
A few of the initial people living there included a Danville Area Community College student, a mother in her 20s with two children and also a 50-year old. They liked the convenience of the downtown location being near the post office, library and stores.
Hays said New Holland is a dynamic that “has come about over the last couple of decades.” He said the renovation of the once vacant building not only provides housing for individuals, but it brought a beautiful architectural structure back to life.
“I don’t think there is any question about that building coming back to life, and having those units has been a positive on all fronts in the community,” he said.
Hays didn’t want to comment specifically about the Housing Authority of the City of Danville's proposed mixed-income housing downtown. But Hays did say, “there’s no question, as a community, the need for affordable housing is very real.”