Home Modification Brings Independence to Hundreds


With this latest round of grants, the Home Modification Program will achieve the milestone of completing improvements for 200 low-income families. Residents who qualify can receive up to $25,000. Since its inception in 2006, the program has awarded more than $5 million in grants to remodel homes so persons facing physical challenges can continue to stay in their communities and live independently, reducing the number of people needing residence in institutions in Illinois.

IHDA initiated a partnership with the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) and the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to further the State’s efforts to coordinate services for qualified residents. As a result of this innovative approach to preserve affordable housing, the Home Modification Program received the 2008 Program of Excellence award in Special Needs Housing from the National Council of State Housing Agencies.

“The Illinois Housing Development Authority is proud to lead the state’s efforts on the Home Modification Program. Home modification does more than adapt homes for independent living. More importantly, the program gives families facing the challenges of disabilities affordable housing options enabling them to stay in their own homes and communities,” said DeShana L. Forney, IHDA Executive Director.

Rewards are evident in the difference these improvements have made in the lives of residents served. An amputee, Annie Townsend received state grants available through IHDA’s valuable partner, Ramp Up, a non-profit organization affiliated with United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Chicago. The group installed a chair lift along the front steps of her Chicago row house, and another one to the second floor. Before the installation of the lifts, 64-year-old Townsend felt limited in her own home. “Now I can get around easier and do things that I enjoy,” she said.


The 2008 grant awards allow for a broader geographic distribution of resources and ensure that assistance is available in areas of the state that are currently underserved or not served at all. Organizations receiving the current round of funding are:


Grantee Area Served

Amount Funded

Estimated # homes served

Coles County Regional Planning and Development

Coles County



Western Egyptian Economic Opportunity Council

Jackson, Monroe, Perry and Randolph counties



Will County Center for Community Concerns

Will County



Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials

Adams, Brown, Pike and Schuyler counties


Shawnee Development Council, Inc.

Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Union and Williamson counties



Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago

Cook, DuPage, Lake and Will counties



B.C.M.W. Community Services

Bond, Clinton, Jefferson, Marion and Washington counties



City of Kankakee Community Development and Economic Agency

Kankakee County



Tri-County Opportunities Council

Bureau, Carroll, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Ogle, Putnam, Stark and Whiteside counties 



Western Illinois Regional Council

Hancock and McDonough counties



Ramp Up Foundation

Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties



City of Springfield Office of Planning and Development

City of Springfield



St. Clair Intergovernmental Grants Department

St. Clair County



Wabash Area Development, Inc.

Edwards, Gallatin, Hamilton, Saline, Wabash, Wayne and White counties