After 25 years away from Hillsboro, 67-year-old Nancy Shipman is moving back tomorrow.
"I'm coming home, baby," she said with a smile on her face and a spring in her step.
She will be one of the first tenants to move into the new Golden Oaks Senior Apartments on Broad Street in Hillsboro.
The Montgomery County Housing Authority celebrated a grand opening Thursday at the rebuilt 16-unit senior apartments in Hillsboro.
A grand opening will be held for an identical 16-unit senior apartment complex on North Van Buren in Litchfield in the next few weeks.
Monthly rents at Golden Oaks are a maximum of $385 including most utilities and all of the units are subsidized by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Montgomery County Housing Authority. Tenants must be over age 62 and earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income, which is $24,120 for a one-person household.
Mrs. Shipman, currently a Vandalia resident, said high rent prices and high gasoline prices have kept her from seeing her family in Hillsboro as often as she would like.
"I can't afford today's gas prices, not when most of my income goes toward rent," she said. "I've seen my children three times in the past nine months. It's time to go home, and now I can."
The Illinois Housing Development Authority invested more than $3 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and a $710,000 loan from the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund to build the one-bedroom town home rentals.
In addition, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) provided an $89,000 grant to install energy efficient windows, insulation, lighting, appliances, and gas-fired radiant floor heating that will help keep utility bills low.
"The community can be really proud of what we've been able to do with the IHDA financing," housing authority CEO Kelly Moroney said.
At the grand opening and ribbon cutting on Thursday, Moroney introduced IHDA board member Karen Davis of Edwardsville, Hillsboro Mayor John Downs, and contractor Mike Niehaus of Windsor Development.
"It was a pleasure to build here," Niehaus said, "and it was easy to build here."
He also praised Moroney's leadership at the housing authority.
"Kelly is going the extra mile to do this," he said.
Moroney also introduced Deanne Jones and Dan Hough from the housing board, board attorney Barbara Adams, and National Bank President Harry Hutchison, who helped with the Federal Home Loan Bank grant.
For leasing application at the Hillsboro or Litchfield units, contact the housing authority at (217) 532-3672.