WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Macomb Plan for WIU Neighborhood Improvements

Jan 28, 2020

The goal of the RISE (Residential Initiative and Stabilization Effort) program is to remove abandoned and dilapidated houses in the areas around Western Illinois University. Macomb Community Development Coordinator John Bannon said the city will pay up to 50% of the cost of demolishing such houses.

“This is a purely voluntary program. But I think there are landlords in Macomb that recognize some of their housing stock is in a condition that it’s to both their benefit and the community’s benefit to remove it,” Bannon said.

“It (RISE) is a win for the city, it’s a win for local landlords, it’s a win for local residents.”

He said blighted housing can lead to an increase in crime and a decrease in the value of nearby properties.

The city council approved the RISE program this month. Bannon said he has already heard from some property owners.

“Not only from rental property companies but there are certain properties that are in the possession of banks, so the banks are certainly interested in this program,” he said.

Mayor Mike Inman called RISE an opportunity to partner with the private sector to remediate some blighted areas.

“There are other areas in the community where no doubt we could see some efforts. But this, I think, has the greatest impact for the greatest number of folks in the community, not the least of which is our largest employer,” Inman said.

The city’s share of money for RISE will come from an old revolving loan fund program.