Affordable Housing iStock 1192316601 scaled 11KANKAKEE – Three communities in the 40th District will receive funding for affordable housing and community revitalization through the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s Strong Communities Program, supported by State Senator Patrick Joyce.

“There are vacant properties all over the region that are not serving their purpose, communities or residents,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “It’s funding like this that allows local governments to restore these neighborhoods and other community areas in order to make them purposeful once again.”

The Strong Communities Program is designed to support local revitalization efforts and attract further investment in communities that may lack the resources needed to tackle vacant, abandoned and deteriorated properties.

A total of $19 million was approved by IHDA to support these revitalization efforts across Illinois. The grants are funded by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan and will leverage IHDA’s existing funding to increase property values, create jobs, help reduce crime, generate additional tax revenue and attract further community investment in underserved communities around the state. The following communities in the district Joyce represents are set to receive funding:

  • Chicago Heights: $712,000
  • Park Forest: $712,000
  • Kankakee County: $487,000

“Vacant and abandoned properties continue to be a strain on local budgets and resources in communities throughout Illinois, which is why IHDA created the Strong Communities Program to assist local governments with their neighborhood revitalization efforts,” IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust said. “Through the Strong Communities Program, IHDA seeks to help communities transform these properties back into positive, revenue-generating assets for neighborhoods.”

A total of $30 million in grant funding has been awarded through two application rounds. For more information, visit IHDA’s website.

Category: Press Releases

TaskForce1KANKAKEE – A measure championed by State Senator Patrick Joyce earlier this year created the Recruiting and Retaining Public Employee Firefighters and Paramedics Task Force, and recently, Senate President Don Harmon appointed Joyce as co-chair of the task force along with State Representative Mike Kelly.

“For quite some time, we have seen an issue recruiting and retaining first responders for different emergencies – which is detrimental to our neighbors,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “I’m ready to figure out the why, and to find solutions to tackle this shortage of workers in order to keep all of our communities safe.” 

The task force is responsible for discovering the steps Illinois can take to assist local governments to recruit and retain public employee firefighters and paramedics, consider any barriers to the process of recruitment and retention, and outline how well the state provides a pathway for qualified individuals to obtain the necessary skills needed to seek employment of these positions.

“Not having these essential positions filled is a serious problem when it comes to the safety and well-being of all Illinois residents,” said Joyce. “As a co-chair, I believe we will be able to understand the implications and bring light to the issue.”

Joyce’s appointment to the task force us effective immediately and expires January 2025.

Category: Press Releases

LIHEAPKANKAKEE – State Senator Patrick Joyce is urging qualified residents to apply for this year’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help with utility costs. Applications will be accepted starting Oct. 2 through Aug. 15, 2024.

“As we approach the colder months, electricity bills tend to become higher,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “Access to affordable energy is a necessity, and this program ensures that families facing financial hardships can keep their homes safe and comfortable.”

The energy bill assistance program offered through the Help Illinois Families Program in program year 2023 will provide $237 million to eligible families to assist with natural gas, propane and electricity bills. Last year's LIHEAP funding — which was available from September 2022 through May 2023 — provided assistance to a record number of 311,214 households.

Beginning Oct. 2, eligible families can apply to this year’s program by visiting or by visiting their local agency (a list of partners throughout the state can be found here). Families can also call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance in 30 languages.

“Families should not have to choose between heating their homes and other household essentials,” said Joyce. “I’m encouraging all qualified people to apply for LIHEAP when applications open next month.”

All families who meet the qualifications and provide proper documentation will receive support until funding is exhausted. Families who earn up to two times the federal poverty level are eligible to receive support through LIHEAP.

Category: Press Releases

374570896 692946622650624 8300047267750642599 nMANTENO – State Senator Patrick Joyce joined community stakeholders and fellow elected officials to announce a new $2 billion electric vehicle battery gigafactory coming to Kankakee County.

“Gotion could not have picked a better place for this new factory,” said Joyce (D-Essex). “This is a huge investment in Kankakee County, and will result in good-paying jobs for residents.  This is a huge win for our region.”

Gotion’s new state-of-the-art EV battery plant will help bolster the supply chain and meet growing demand for batteries across the EV sector, including Gotion’s partners, as well as additional EV manufacturers across North America. The facility will focus on lithium-ion battery cell, battery pack production and energy storage system integration, and is expected to begin production in 2024.

As part of Illinois’ commitment to build out comprehensive EV hubs and support Illinois’ workforce, the state will also fund a new manufacturing training academy nearby as well as award an additional grant to workforce providers to expand training and prepare regional employees for the new jobs. The historic company investment will create over 2,600 new good-paying jobs in Manteno.

"This announcement is a huge win for Manteno, Kankakee County, and the State of Illinois, and will only enhance and strengthen our robust manufacturing sector,” said Timothy O. Nugent, Mayor of Manteno.

Category: Press Releases

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