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Federal funding to spur Illinois housing, jobs market

Illinois will receive $360 million in federal spending to spur growth.

Illinois will receive $360 million in federal spending to spur growth.

While it's a matter of debate how much government spending is being put to waste nationwide, in Illinois, state officials appear to be finding beneficial ways to spend federal money.

With funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Illinois Housing Development Authority has announced 5,500 rental homes are shovel-ready, creating an estimated 4,855 jobs for men and women in the construction sector.

"Housing is the foundation of communities," said Gloria Materre, executive director for IHDA. "These federal funds are helping families and strengthening neighborhoods by creating more affordable rental homes and jobs."

The nearly $360 million in federal spending will go toward the production of several developments, including apartment dwellings for homeless veterans and single-family homes that families can rent.

With more affordable housing available, perhaps more people will consider moving to the Illinois region. A survey released earlier this month found Illinois was one of several Midwest states more people moved from than moved to in 2010.

The funding may also spur growth in the construction sector. The Associated General Contractors of America and Navigant says more firms are planning on hiring this year compared to last.