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Mt. Sterling works to add more housing opportunities

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Efforts are under way to bring more housing opportunities to Mt. Sterling, Illinois.

City leaders said they're working to build more houses to attract more residents to the area.

There's a growing need for housing in Mt. Sterling, Illinois.

That's according to a community needs assessment survey, which city administrator Vada Yingling said helps them get a better idea of what residents want and need.

"We need more affordable housing that suits a variety of needs and lifestyles, which include not only home ownership, but rentals," Yingling said. "Over 50 to 60 percent of the respondents felt that way."

Yingling said the survey is part of a project the city is working on with the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

She said the goal is for general contractors to build more homes in the area.

It's a need recognized by local contractors, who are helping to make that goal a reality. With the help of local investors, one has already built two new homes in town.

"We found the site, decided to build two homes, we finished those in the fall and built them together, right next to each other," general contractor Larry Yingling said.

Vada Yingling said these survey results are a step towards an even bigger goal. It's a goal she says will impact the entire community.

"The main goal is to have enough housing for people coming in to work," Yingling said. "Our three major employers bring a lot of people in. If housing could be found, there would be less commuters. They would live here, pay taxes and put their kids in school."

Contractor Larry Yingling said he's looking towards the future of housing, too.

"We've had another group working together to try to find some other places to build a subdivision in," Larry Yingling said. "Hopefully we find something in the near future where we want to build 40 to 50 homes over the next ten years."

Vada Yingling said now that the survey is done, the next step is to meet with the housing authority and go around to access all the homes in the town.

She said the pandemic has slowed that process, but hopes to meet with them during Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.

When it comes to funds, she said she hopes to receive grants and continue working with investors.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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