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Year in Review 2013: Southwestern Illinois

Hampton Place housing development completed in Alton

Hampton-IIIThe last phase of Hampton Place housing development was completed during 2013 in Alton.    The third and final phase of the Hampton Place housing development was completed in 2013. A total of 86 new, single-family homes have been built as part of the project in the Mexico neighborhood in Alton since 2002.
    The neighborhood is an old, residential area in the city’s core. It had been deteriorating for a long time, suffering from disinvestment and high crime. For years, the city of Alton had been acquiring lots through private purchase or via tax sales in hopes of attracting a developer.
    The city eventually found ND Consulting Group, a St. Louis development and consulting company that specializes in developing housing in challenging areas. The city donated some of the lots and provided other assistance, Madison County Community Development supplied HOME funds to help make the houses more affordable, and the Illinois Housing Development Authority supplied low income housing tax credits.
    Under this financial structure, ownership of the homes must be maintained by the developer for 15 years. The tenants lease the property with the option to buy and receive a $1,000 credit toward the purchase of the home for each year they live there.
    Greg Caffey, director of the department of development and housing for the city, said that the project was very well received and, in fact, the developer maintained a waiting list throughout the first two phases. When the third phase opened, those units were snatched up quickly.
    Caffey said that the investment made in the neighborhood has spurred other homeowners to invest and improve their properties as well—including rental properties Another byproduct of the project, Caffey said he thought it was also having an impact on crime.
    There are still vacant lots in the neighborhood, said Caffey, so there’s still room for more in-fill housing. Hampton Place III, however, is the final phase of this project.     
     “Hopefully, from the activity that has taken place it will spur other developers to want to come in and dovetail on what’s been done,” said Caffey. “The hope is that these three phases will spur some market rate housing.”