JOLIET – Volunteers of America Illinois has taken a major step forward in its plan to build veterans housing in Joliet.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority on Friday approved tax credits to fund about 85 percent of the $15 million project, said Nancy Hughes Moyer, chief executive of VOA Illinois.
Hughes Moyer called the approval "a huge endorsement from the state," noting Gov. Pat Quinn had urged the IHDA board to back the project just hours before the vote. Quinn on Friday attended a grand opening for another VOA Illinois veterans housing project in Chicago and commented on the Joliet project, she said.
The tax credits are an essential part of the project and make funding possible.
"We could not have gone forward without it," Hughes Moyer said.
The tax credits basically are a financial vehicle VOA Illinois can use to obtain cash to build the project. Hughes Moyer said finding an investor should be a smooth process.
VOA Illinois already has a special use permit from the city of Joliet. Hughes Moyer said she expected it will be a year before construction starts and another year before Hope Manor Joliet opens.
Hope Manor Joliet will be a 67-unit housing complex for low-income and homeless veterans on Silver Cross Hospital's former Joliet campus. The project is one of a number of new uses for the former hospital campus, including a Veterans Affairs mega clinic that opened in 2013 to provide health care for veterans.