Federal housing analysis says Champaign rental market oversaturated, but city continues to approve development

The development of student apartments in Champaign-Urbana has not slowed down over the past five years, despite two separate federal housing analyses describing the rental market as oversaturated.

“During December 2016, the estimated student-targeted apartment vacancy rate was 12.9 percent, up from 7.4 percent a year earlier” a federal 2017 Comprehensive Housing Market Analysis reported in January.

But Ben LeRoy, an associate planner for the Champaign planning and development department, said that the city’s policy on student apartments is influenced more by the developers on campus and less by sources such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which produced the January 2017 report.

Champaign schools implement coding curriculum

Champaign Unit 4 Schools have implemented a curriculum based around coding, beginning in kindergarten and going all the way up through high school. The students have designated time each week to learn how to code through the programming language Scratch.

CU-CitizenAccess.org celebrates Sunshine Week all year, every year

From restaurant inspections and complaints about Housing Authority complexes to every arrest in Champaign-Urbana and tax incentive agreements, CU-CitizenAccess has provided much-needed transparency to a number of issues involving East Central Illinois in the past few years.

Champaign potholes still costly to city, drivers

In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, the city’s public works department responded to 329 pothole service requests from residents — a slight decrease from the 397 service requests in the previous fiscal year.

Despite influx of funds, vacant housing increases in county

CHAMPAIGN-URBANA: Since the housing market crashed in 2007, the cities of Champaign and Urbana have received more than $2 million in state and federal dollars to combat vacant and nuisance housing. Yet the number of empty houses is still climbing. As of 2014, one in every 10 housing units in Champaign County sat vacant, according to the most recent U.S. census data available. That total number, 8,700, was nearly double the number of vacant housing units in the year 2000. Each year, Champaign puts at least $20,000 into demolishing homes across the city.

Champaign targets certain neighborhoods for demolition

These houses make up about 5 percent of vacant houses citywide, but represent the worst of the worst, officials said. Those are houses with repeated code violations, safety issues or are home to criminal activity. The monitored homes are largely located in more troubled neighborhoods because city staff closely monitors those areas.