U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


Madison County is situated in southwestern Illinois, ten miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri with its western boarder being the Mississippi River. Madison County has evolved from an assemblage of two primary cities, Alton and Granite City, and many smaller towns linked by open space and agricultural areas to a network of residential, commercial and industrial centers. Madison County is also part of a major national and global transportation center. The County has highly developed multimodal transportation systems ideal for receipt, storage, distribution and transfer of products to and from major national and international markets. Due to its growth over the past thirty years, the County now encounters many of the urban problems that were not evident previously, such as traffic congestion, stress on existing infrastructure and the need to build new and improved infrastructure to accommodate growing populations.

Diverging rates of growth regarding land values and rising housing costs due to the increasing commuter communities bordering the St. Louis metropolitan area have also placed stress on issues related to affordable housing. The County is very diverse in terms of communities and economics. Population as well as industry and commercial centers are predominately located in the western half of the County. Due to the urban nature of much of the western half of the County, the majority of minority as well as lower and moderate income residents are located around these urban centers.

Action Plan

The Madison County Consolidated Plan has made it easier for the County to establish a unified, coordinated vision for its community development, housing and homeless actions. A key element of the Consolidated Plan is its emphasis on citizen participation and the collaborative nature of the process through which Madison County determines its community needs, develops strategies for addressing those needs and undertakes specific actions consistent with those strategies.

The Consolidated Plan includes a One-Year Action Plan for spending approximately 5.5 million of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership Program and Emergency Shelter Block Grant funding in 1995. These funds will primarily be spent on housing activities as well as public services and public facility improvements and projects.

Citizen Participation

Madison County conducted four public meeting early in the Consolidated Plan process in order to maximize citizen participation in the actual development of the Plan. Meeting were held in very diverse and geographically different parts of the County in order to reach those citizens who might otherwise have been excluded. Large block advertisements appeared in all local papers and meetings were held during the day and evening hours to broaden participation. Additionally, The County mailed copies of the advertisements to all mayors, County Board members, social service agencies, economic development groups, local chamber of commerce, regional leaders and the local housing authorities. In addition to the public meetings, survey forms were sent to numerous organizations (housing, homeless, health care, special needs, social services) and to all municipalities and townships, requesting information on their needs and priorities. The information gained from these surveys provided valuable information used in the preparation of the Consolidated Plan strategy. Finally, the Needs Statement and Strategic Plan within the Consolidated Plan were made available for public comment at the Madison County Community Development office.


As stated previously, Madison County is situated in the southwestern portion of Illinois with its western boarder being the Mississippi River and it is ten miles from St. Louis, Missouri. The City of Edwardsville is the county seat The square mileage of the County is 725. Unemployment is at 7.8% of the overall population which is currently 249,328. The poverty level is 11.16% of the total population with the percent of the black minority population in poverty at 38%. The total minority population in the County is 7.6% with the majority of minorities concentrated in three urban areas, Alton, Madison and Venice. The County's median income is $34,094 per household.

80% of the overall housing stock is in the western half of the County because 84% of the population is located here and because of its urban nature. Major target areas are Granite City and Alton, each with a population of approximately 33,000. Also included in target areas, based on high percentages of low and very low income persons, are Hartford, Roxana, Wood River, East Alton, Pontoon Beach, Venice and Madison. Over 75% of the housing units in the County are detached single family dwellings. Overall, there is a high rate of homeownership (72%) as opposed to rental (28%) in Madison County.



The County has been steadily growing over the past thirty years which has placed additional burden on its aging infrastructure or lack of such to accommodate increased populations. While Madison County's labor forces have been increasing since the late 1980's, unemployment has gradually been decreasing. Additionally, the unemployment rate, which through the 1980's was above the national average, has recently (since 1994) decreased below the national average. However, even though unemployment has decreased, poverty levels have increased. In 1980, 9.65% of the County's population was living in poverty while in 1990, that figure rose to 11.16%.

Housing Needs

The critical needs in the County focus on increasing the affordability of housing for all its citizens and to rehab the existing housing stock. Due to the high rate of ownership among lower and moderate income households, the County allocates a large portion of its housing dollars towards owner-occupied rehabilitation. Ongoing funding is required to assist lower income homeowners maintain and repair their homes. In the Consolidated Plan, the County has tried to maintain homeownership within the County because owner-occupied homeownership has shown a decrease lately. As the poverty level has increased in the County, more owner-occupied housing has fallen into disrepair or outright abandonment. For example, there are 14,000 owner-occupied housing units who earn less than $20,000 a year. Of these households, 37% pay more than 30% of their income towards housing. In the Consolidated Plan, the County also addresses the need to provide more rental housing in the urban areas for both low and very low income households as well as special needs populations.

Housing Market Conditions

There are approximately 95,000 housing units in the County with an estimated 78,000 units in some state of being substandard. Of these 78,000 units, 75,000 are suitable for rehab. The age of the housing stock is rather old with a large majority of it constructed prior to 1979 with the highest number built between 1960-1979. As stated earlier, the majority of the housing stock is single-family housing. In 1980, 24.5% of households were rental and by 1990 this had increased to 28%. Of the rental households, 63% pay more than 30% of their income towards housing.

Affordable Housing Needs

It has become an increasing problem for lower income single parents, large families, elderly and disabled individuals with and without families to find affordable, accessible housing in the County due to the limited amount of standard rental units and geographic options that are available. The County has identified housing cost burden (paying more than 30% of income) and physical defects in housing as high priority for owners as well as renters, especially the elderly. Overcrowding is not a substantial problem, as identified in the Priority Needs Summary Table within the Consolidated Plan.

Homeless Needs

Madison County conducted a homeless count in February of 1995 which provided insight into the size, characteristics and needs of the county's homeless population. There are many reasons and situations which result in homelessness in the County. Based on documentation the County gathered over a seven day period using strict controls, it identified approximately 214 homeless individuals at any given time with the highest incidence of homelessness due to abuse or family problems, overcrowding or eviction, loss of income or a recent crisis such as fire. Of these 214 persons, 105 were in need of immediate nightly shelter while the rest are currently staying with friends/family. There are no reception/day centers located in Madison County. Currently, there are only 99 shelter beds available in the County. The County has identified a very high need for an increase in the number of beds in shelters.

Of the homeless who were surveyed, the population was mainly comprised of both black (52%) and white (45%) persons who suffer predominately from mental illness (25%), alcohol/drug abuse (17%) or family problems or abuse (29%). Additionally, the County has identified a high need for more transitional (currently only families can be served) and permanent supportive housing for those homeless populations that could be transitioned out of shelters.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

Madison County operates the Section 8 program on a County-wide basis and has projects in Collinsville, Edwardsville, East Alton, Madison, Venice and Alton. Granite City and Alton also have their own public housing authorities. The current Section 8 waiting list in the County ranges from 500-800 depending on the size of the unit. There are a total of 1,830 public housing units in the County of which 246 are vacant. There are 669 0-bedroom units, 624 two-bedroom units and 537 units with three or more bedrooms. Additionally, some public housing units are in need of substantial rehab to meet the needs of persons with disabilities. Regarding the Section 8 program:

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Much of the constricting public policy affecting affordable housing is a result of local policies and controls. By providing public resources, local governments can be a catalyst for encouraging financial institutions and other assistance providers to address the needs of affordable housing. The County has an interest in creating a fair distribution of affordable housing and has identified a number of regulatory barriers at the state and local level.

On a local level, property owners are reluctant to make major improvements due to the increased value and tax ramifications. Additionally, there are frequently low rates of return on acquiring and/or rehabbing low income housing. Without tax credits or public subsidy, development is slow. Zoning, building codes and impact fees were also identified as barriers to the development of affordable housing.

Fair Housing

A reassessment of fair housing activities and of present and future fair housing needs in Madison County is a priority. The County has an identified need to establish a fair housing task force comprised of representatives from a wide variety of Madison County organizations to conduct this assessment. There are no current court orders, consent decrees, or HUD-imposed sanctions that affect the provision of fair housing remedies.

Lead-Based Paint

Very few cases of lead-based paint poisoning have occurred in the County, despite the fact that over 85% of the housing stock was built before 1979. According to the County Health Department, 29 cases of child poisoning have been identified. The majority of these cases occurred in Alton (13). There are 61,804 households, 65% of all the housing stock that is presumed to contain lead-based paint. 73% of these cases were owner-occupied with the majority built between 1940-1959. It is a goal of the County to work with the Madison County Health Department to develop a program dealing with the testing and abatement of lead-based paint, especially where there are children under 7 years of age residing in a home.

Community Development Needs

Madison County and its communities have worked together to develop a comprehensive community development strategy to address the non-housing needs and concerns of the County and its low and moderate income population. Madison County expressed the greatest need for:

In the early stages of the Consolidated Plan process, a survey of social service providers was conducted and the following needs were rated highest:


The County has not identified any significant, major gaps or weaknesses in the overall coordination or institutional structure of the County. The structure and coordination exists to carry out a comprehensive housing and community development strategy. The County identifies the lack of sufficient funding or financial resources to address all the County's needs as a major problem.


Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

Although specific subgroups (special needs/disabled or elderly) may have problems that are unique to their populations, housing problems in the County are primarily related to substandard housing, high housing debt to income ratios, housing support services and an aging housing stock. Housing priorities and strategies reflect those conditions. Housing objectives focus on the supply of decent, safe, accessible and affordable housing. Overall community development objectives focus on the housing and community development needs identified previously in this summary, primarily:

Housing Priorities

Madison County's housing priority is to ensure that residents have access to affordable, decent, safe and sanitary housing. There is a critical shortage of affordable housing in Madison County. The County's main priorities are to retain and increase homeownership through acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction; rehabilitate owner-occupied units for low and moderate income owners; increase rental housing options for lower income households as well as for elderly and special needs populations.

Because of the limited public funding available, the County will be encouraging the utilization of private resources to the maximum extent possible and will strive to act as a catalyst for more private investment in the production of affordable housing.

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

One of the areas that the County is currently addressing is flood abatement. The County has experienced significant flooding in both 1993 and 1995. This has resulted in losses of public and private property and severe overloading of existing stormwater retention and control systems. Drainage improvements and stormwater improvements were among the most frequently cited infrastructure needs in a survey performed in connection with the Consolidated Plan effort.

As summarized previously, other infrastructure needs include the expansion of existing or creation of new public facilities including sanitary sewer facilities and water improvements in several areas in the County. Other needs and priorities that will be addressed include removal of architectural barriers; job skill training; youth programs; clearance of dilapidated structures; and economic development initiatives to benefit local businesses and employees.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

Madison County along with various public service agencies and local governments, work together to provide low-income families with support services. The County realizes that the most critical problem faced by persons in poverty is the cost burden of housing. The County will continue to seek additional resources for its housing and public services and work with existing agencies in order to evaluate needs, coordinate delivery of services and determine if funding is available to address needs.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The County lists a number of sources and agencies starting on page 144 of its Consolidated Plan. The agencies and sources listed represent both public and private resources and include health services; housing services; social services; special needs (mentally ill/disabled/elderly); substance abuse centers; Federal housing and community development resources; State of Illinois housing and community development resources; and financial institutions.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

Primary coordination rests within the institutional structure of the County itself. The Madison County Grants Committee has the responsibility for development and submission of the Consolidated Plan. Other County divisions that are coordinated with are the Madison County Economic Development Division; Madison County Community Development; and the housing authorities of Madison County, Alton and Granite City. Those individual agencies who will be carrying out activities under the Consolidated Plan are listed in the Annual Action Plan section. Part Six of the Consolidated Plan contains a list of Federal and State agencies and programs, financial institutions and community resources that currently provide assistance and services in the County.


Description of Key Projects

The Madison County One-Year Action Plan outlines the proposed use of approximately 5.5 million in CDBG, HOME and Emergency Shelter Grants funds, which includes program income. These funds will be spent primarily on an array of housing programs and public facility projects. The following is a summary of direct assistance (minus administrative costs) for major activities to be undertaken during the 1995 program year:


Over 95% of all activities are either undertaken in targeted low and moderate income designated areas or directly benefit low/moderate income individuals and special needs or homeless populations throughout the County. In addition, approximately $180,000 will be directly allocated to non-profit community housing development organizations (CHDOs) under the HOME program for the development of rental housing and homeownership opportunities.

Housing Goals

Highlights of Madison County's specific housing goals for this first year under its Consolidated Plan include increasing the supply of decent, safe and affordable housing for approximately 300 households through rehabilitation, acquisition and new construction as well as assist in the shelter of approximately 100-150 homeless individuals throughout the County. There is a strong need for more transitional housing units in the County and it hopes to increase its current availability of three units in the near future. There are also 92 new Section 8 rental units being built for the elderly. Farmers Home Administration and the Federal Section 811 program will be providing 58 additional assisted housing units. The Madison County Community Development Division is also increasing its marketing efforts to public housing tenants to foster self sufficiency and to provide additional homeownership opportunities.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and proposed HUD funded projects; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

MAP 6 depicts Neighborhood Segments and streets with proposed HUD funded projects.

To comment on Madison County's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Dorothy Hummel
Community Development Coordinator
Madison County Community Development Department
130 Hillsboro
Edwardsville, Illinois 62026

Ph: 618-692-7040 (ext.4386)

Return to Illinois' Consolidated Plans.