A federal grant will help Genesis Housing fix three low-income apartment buildings in downtown Oregon, the Oregon nonprofit has announced.

The $824,945 award from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago is through its Affordable Housing Program. It was contingent on a match from the Village of Oregon, which committed the money from its 2 year old affordable housing fund earlier this year.

Genesis president Scott Meier told the Observer on Nov. 22 many of the buildings’ amenities and equipment are original, having been constructed around 40-50 years ago. The buildings serve seniors and those with disabilities.

A Genesis release states that facilities have been maintained as much as possible with limited rental income but need significant updates to remain functional and meet residents’ needs.

Meier said Genesis applied for the same grant in 2015 but was unsuccessful. But he began meeting with a group of citizens once a month to speak about the lack of affordable housing in the community. That group is now the Oregon Housing Coalition.

Through collaboration with the Oregon Housing Coalition, Meier applied again. Coalition member Rob Dicke introduced Meier to Joe Schwenker, who was an “expert consultant” on the AHP grant process, moving things along rapidly the release states.

The Oregon Village Board provided a grant of $168,000 from its own affordable housing fund to “fill the gap,” the release states.

More organizations like the senior center, Oregon Youth Center and other local businesses offered support for the grant. Even more local entities, including from the village of Brooklyn, offered their grant expertise, the release states.

A common government definition of affordable housing is the cost of rent or mortgage payments is no more than 30% of household income.

The 2019 AHP program awarded $2.7 million in grants to help 50 affordable housing programs in Wisconsin and Illinois.

Bank submittal is required for each grant application. The release states Oregon Community Bank sponsored the nonprofits application, which will also draw the funds from the federal bank in 2020 and administer them to the renovation project.

Email Emilie Heidemann at emilie.heidemann@wcinet.com or follow her on Twitter at @HeidemannEmilie.