ROCKFORD — Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee,announced that HomeStart, an organization based in Rockford and Freeport, will receive $176,000 in funding from NeighborWorks America to revitalize and sustain neighborhoods.
“Homes are at the heart of each and every one of our communities. And ensuring every family has access to safe, affordable housing is essential,” said Rep. Bustos. “I’m pleased to announce that HomeStart will receive $176,000 in federal funding for their work to help local families and individuals find and keep their homes. HomeStart plays a key role in sustaining our neighborhoods and communities”
HomeStart is a local nonprofit working to develop and preserve affordable housing options in Carroll, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, and Whiteside counties. They help local individuals and families with down payment assistance, foreclosure avoidance and housing counseling.
An advocate for neighborhood improvement efforts, Bustos has introduced bipartisan legislation to fund efforts to renovate abandoned and distressed properties. The Neighborhood Reinvestment & Revitalization Act would create a new, $25 million competitive grant program within the NeighborWorks program to fund the demolition and rehabilitation of abandoned or severely distressed properties in areas with high concentrations of such properties.
Bustos is also a co-founder of the Congressional Social Determinants of Health Caucus, a bipartisan coalition focused on addressing the social factors that impact health – including access to housing – to eliminate health disparities. In 2019, Bustos introduced the Social Determinants Accelerator Act, which would create a new, inter-agency technical advisory council on social determinants of health. Bustos was successful in securing $3 million in Social Determinants grants in Fiscal Year 2021 and $8 million in grants in Fiscal Year 2022, which enabled state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions to prevent and reduce chronic diseases among people experiencing health disparities.