FULTON, Ill. — Brian Hollenback and Beth Payne delivered good news last week, traveling to seven cities, three counties and two states, ending their journey in Fulton.
Hollenback, who is the Northwestern Illinois Housing Coalition president, and its administrative director, Payne, arrived at City Hall in Fulton as the day was winding down Thursday, but upon their arrival they were greeted with enthusiasm and eagerness from Fulton city leaders.
“We’re so glad you’re here,” said alderwoman Barb Mask, who was joined by alderwoman Sue Van Kampen, tourism director Heather Bennett and City Administrator Ed Cannon among others.
That enthusiasm stemmed from the reality that one Fulton resident would receive a 10-year, low-interest housing loan up to $25,000 for a home renovation during a lottery drawing at the City Hall meeting.
One winner was selected Thursday, out of three possible candidates, but it won’t be until the NWIHC can survey the house to see if it qualifies for the program that a name will be released to the public.
It also allows the resident and the coalition some confidentiality in dealing with the administrative process of the home loan.
“We want to be very careful. We want to set up realistic expectations,” Hollenback said. “This is all new stuff coming to your community and we want to make sure, to the best of our ability, that it leaves a good taste in everyone’s mouths.”
The two other applicants may not go home empty-handed. Because of their partnership with the city of Fulton, the Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation, the NWIHC’s parent organization, has a variety of other programs that Fulton residents may qualify for, and they work to see what other ways they can assist those residents.
Although the low-interest home loan may no longer be available to them, other financial assistance opportunities, such as the Housing Emergency Loan Program and access to Illinois Attorney General Foreclosure Settlement Funds could still be.
“We’ve had the world laid at our feet here folks,” Hollenback said. “We’ve had access to funds that most communities do not have.”
Amy Kent can be reached at email@example.com.