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

Consolidated Plan Contact


The Town of Normal, along with its twin city of Bloomington, are located in the center of Illinois. Though the 1990 census counts 40,023 residents in Normal, over 18,000 are students who attend Illinois State University. In addition to the universities, other major employers serving the area include State Farm Insurance, a Mitsubishi automobile assembly plant, Country Companies Insurance Group, BroMenn Healthcare, and two school districts.

Action Plan

The Town of Normal Consolidated Plan provides a straight forward uncomplicated program which addresses affordable housing needs and infrastructure improvement. Its One-Year Action Plan proposes to spend $377,632 in Community Development Block Grant funds in 1995. These funds will primarily be spent on housing rehabilitation, housing replacement, street and utility replacement, meals assistance and counseling.

Citizen Participation

A Consolidated Plan Task Force was established to provide leadership on citizen participation. The task force disseminated a "Housing and Community Development Questionnaire" to numerous organizations and agencies within the community to obtain opinions on their priorities. The Town held a public hearing on November 1, 1994 during the planning process of the Consolidated Plan. Another public hearing was held in late January 1995 to allow citizens to review and/or comment on the results of the "draft" copy of the Consolidated Plan. A summary of the preliminary Consolidated Plan was published in a newspaper of general circulation, while copies were made available to 16 libraries, government agencies and public places.


The Town of Normal is located in the geographic center of the state. According to the 1990 census, the population of Normal was 40,023, up from 35,672 in 1980. Normal's twin city - Bloomington is 57,275, while McLean County's population is 137,577. The racial composition of Normal is 91.5% white, 5% black, 0.1% American Indian, 1.9% Asian, and 1.5% Hispanic.

In 1990 median family income (MFI) was $42,109, but by 1995 it had risen to $48,600. 44% of all households in Normal were low and moderate-income (with incomes below 80 percent of MFI) in 1990. Only one census tract (2.0) which contains Illinois State University, contained concentrations of racial/ethnic minorities.

The demographics of Normal are greatly influenced (skewed) by the presence of Illinois State University, as its students (a) typically reside in town only 9 months of the year, (b) have little or no income due to their student status (typically parents supported), and (c) represent the greatest amount of racial minorities.



The largest employer in Normal is Mitsubishi Motor Corporation, with 3,400 employees. Illinois State University, a state agency, is the next largest employer with 3,150 employees. Unemployment levels in Normal as of 1994 was 3.5%. The unemployment trend over the past ten years has been below the national average.

Housing Needs

The critical housing need identified in the Consolidated Plan is to improve the affordability of housing. This will be accomplished through the provision of: (1) loans/grants for the rehabilitation of low/moderate income housing, and (2) matching funds for down payments to increase home ownership opportunities. The Consolidated Plan also allocates funds to service providers to address chemical dependency for the homeless.

For the extremely low-income group of Normal, 90% of all renter households and 77% of all owner households are paying more than 30% of their income to housing. Moreover, 69% of renter households and 44% of owner households have housing costs of more than 50% of their income. Of very low-income owner households (incomes 50 percent or less), 60% of all renter households and 35% of all owner households are paying more than 30% of their income for housing. The only moderate income household type with cost burden problems are elderly renter households, 50% of whom are paying more than 30% of their income for rent.

For renter households, 49.7% of low income minorities have housing affordability problems (44% being Black - non-Hispanic). For owner households, 28.7% of low income minorities have housing affordability problems (23.7% being Black - non-Hispanic).

Housing Market Conditions

The Town of Normal has 12,300 year round housing units, 96% of which are occupied. Of the occupied units, 5,340 (45%) are rental, while 6,516, (55%) are owner-occupied. Vacancy rates for both types of housing have remained stable since 1980. The vacancy rate for rental units is 3.6%. According to the 1990 census, a total of 2.0% of all renter households in Normal live in overcrowded conditions, or 4.0% for all renters with incomes between 51%-80% A total of 39.5% of large renter households live in overcrowded conditions.

Residential construction in Normal has significantly increased over the past ten years. The housing inventory grew by 1,931 units between 1980 and 1990. The McLean County Regional Planning Commission projected that an 1,100 units would be built between 1990 and 1995 with an additional 1,000 units being constructed from 1995 to 2000. The biggest change increase has occurred in single family housing starts. There should not be a shortage of housing in the near future.

While there are pockets of substandard housing in Normal they are scattered and do not constitute a definable area. Further, the area generally surrounding the Illinois State University campus contains numerous rooming houses. Most of these rooming houses were originally built as single family residences and have been altered to provide multiple student occupancy. There are few rental units (nonstudent housing), or owner-occupied units which are considered substandard. Approximately 1% of housing units in Normal were classified as substandard in 1990. Almost 95% of these units were suitable for rehabilitation.

Affordable Housing Needs

Most of the single family units built over the past 15 years is beyond the price range of lower income households. The median value of owner-occupied houses increased from $62,700 in 1980 to $74,000 by 1990 which represents an 18% increase. Of this group, 25% of the units had a value of $60,900 or less and 25% of the units had a value of $91,200. Average sales prices for single family homes through the end of August 1994 were $59,089 for 2 bedroom or less; $92,078 for 3 bedrooms; and $147,733 for 4 or more bedroom units.

The median rent in 1980 was $266, which increased to $370 in 1990, (25% of units had rents less than $263 and 25% had rents greater than $516). The current fair Market Rents as of September 1994 were $292 for an efficiency unit and $664 for a three bedroom unit. An analysis of data on rental housing inventory, vacancy rate, trend in rents, trend in new construction and opinions close to the housing market concludes that Normal will have an adequate supply of rental housing over the next five years.

Low income households need rental assistance and the availability of affordable housing. Low income homeowners need rehabilitation assistance, and low income first time homebuyers need downpayment assistance.

Homeless Needs

Based on past usage of emergency assistance programs, it is estimated that between 200 and 300 households per year are threatened with homelessness in the Bloomington-Normal area. No data is available which locates where the homeless dwell in Normal. It is thought that most homeless cases exist in Bloomington, where all shelters are located. There are no homeless facilities in Normal.

During the period July 1, 1993 to June 30, 1994 shelter for homeless individuals, families or homeless youth was provided for 1,804 people. During Fiscal Year 1994, it was estimated that 178 homeless people were turned away from homeless facilities. Six area nonprofit agencies serve the homeless in the twin city area.

The racial breakdown of the homeless population is: Black = 56%, White = 41%, and all other = 3%.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

There are two housing authorities which serve the Town of Normal: The McLean County Housing Authority (MCHA) and the Bloomington Housing Authority (BHA). These housing authorities are the same administrative entity, but have different Boards. The MCHA administers only a Section 8 Existing Housing Program, with 276 units assisted in Normal. There are no conventional public housing units in McLean County outside of the City of Bloomington. The Bloomington Housing Authority presently administers 638 units located primarily on the west and near west side of Bloomington.

There are 582 subsidized units located in Normal built through the Section 8 - New Construction or Section 236 Programs. Of this 582 total, 145 are 0-1 bedroom elderly and disabled units, 313 are 2 bedroom family units, and 124 are 3 bedroom large family units.

As of December 1994, there was a waiting list of 464 names for Section 8 housing. Of this number, 97 were current BHA residents who reside in conventional public housing and 18 were residents of other subsidized housing in the Bloomington/Normal area.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Market conditions in Bloomington/Normal are quite conducive to the production of new housing. There is a lot of undeveloped land bordering both communities. Currently, a substantial amount of new construction is taking place. Existing zoning practices encourage and provide the opportunity for new development. The construction of new single-family dwellings, however, do not necessarily target low or moderate income households. Due to the strong economy in the area, developers are not likely to be enticed to build "affordable" single family homes. The majority residential construction lies within the $100,000 to $175,000 price range, completely out of the price range for low/moderate income households.

The presence of two universities in the area (Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan College) inflates rents around the campuses. A landlord can charge higher rents for units to students as they tend to share units and hence its cost. Many single family renters cannot afford to pay the inflated rents near the universities.

The lack of accumulating a sufficient downpayment is another barrier which prevents low/moderate households from purchasing a home. Many low/moderate income households work in lower paying service industry jobs which pay minimum wage or slightly better pay rates. Also, may of these jobs do not provide health benefits, thus requiring employees to pay this cost, thereby reducing the amount of money which could be saved for a downpayment.

Fair Housing

There are no outstanding fair housing issues affecting the town. The Bloomington/Normal Human Relations Commission sponsored a Fair Housing Seminar in September 1994. Also, the Minority Advocacy Committee developed and released a pamphlet entitled "Housing a Problem" which provides information on who to contact for various housing issues, including downpayment assistance, other ways to purchase a home, improving credit ratings, rental problems, emergency housing and other housing assistance.

Lead-Based Paint

The Town of Normal estimate that 49% of the housing stock contains lead-based paint. This percentage translates into 6,140 housing units (2,315 - rental, and 3,825 - owner occupied). Further, lead-based paint in present in 4,774 low income housing units (2,116 - rental, and 2,658 - owner occupied). The McLean County Health Department has reported that about 10% of all persons screened for lead poisoning (within the county), have elevated blood levels.

Community Development Needs

No requests for the support of public facilities has been received by the Town of Normal's Community Development Department. The Town, however, does consider infrastructure improvements in lower income areas to be an integral part of a total approach to the preservation of the community's affordable housing stock. The Town also considers activities which provide for child care, feeding lower income elderly, accessibility to the disabled, and assistance for downpayments of homes, to be high priority projects.


Coordination in achieving the Town's goals will be made with the Community Development Department, the City of Bloomington, the Bloomington Housing Authority, the McLean County Housing Authority, McLean County government, the Illinois Housing Development Agency, and local nonprofit service agencies/organizations.


Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

The Town's specific objectives of serving the underserved needs of lower income residents are (1) to improve the existing housing stock through the provision of rehabilitation loans, (2) increasing the availability of Section 8 Certificates, (3) assisting lower income households in being able to afford a home downpayment, (4) improving infrastructure in lower income neighborhoods, and (6) providing public services to segments of the lower income population.

Housing Priorities

Priorities for affordable housing include a medium priority for supplying housing to Small Family Renters with cost burdens exceeding 30% - 50%. This can be accomplished through an increase in either Section 8 Certificates/Vouchers, or through support of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program. Additionally, emphasis will continue to be placed on providing funds to conduct rehabilitation of owner-occupied dwellings.

Priorities for homelessness alleviation. The community has sufficient bedspace available to meet the emergency shelter need.

Priorities for non-homeless persons with special needs. In the coming year, the community will work together at all "points of entry" to ensure that clients needing supportive housing are properly referred to appropriate housing. With respect to permanent housing geared to the homeless, no new units are planned in the coming year.

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

No requests for support of public facilities have been received by the Town of Normal's Community Development Department. Infrastructure improvements, however, will target the replacement of unsafe and deteriorated playground equipment, the reconstruction of two streets, curbs, gutters, water and sewer lines, and sidewalks, as well as curb cuts to assist the disabled.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

Thirteen social service or government agencies with major responsibilities for improving the lives of those people who have low incomes, were invited to collaborate on a review of needs of those in poverty and anti-poverty strategies to meet those needs. Further, they were asked to develop strategies for the next year, but also to look at the next 3 to 5 years.

The Town will utilize existing agencies to alleviate poverty in the community.

Housing and Community Development Resources

Within the Bloomington/Normal area, 10 Federal, 9 state, 1 local, 4 private, and 4 nonprofit programs currently provide services to the community. The primary Federal resources include CDBG (Normal), HOME (Normal), Section 8 (Normal), public housing (Normal and Bloomington), and Emergency Shelter Grants (Bloomington). Resources available from the state include the Illinois Housing Development Agency (IHDA) Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and the Illinois Homebuyer Program. Local resources include banks, the Coalition for Affordable Housing, United Way and private donations/benefactors.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The Town of Normal presently receives only CDBG funds directly from HUD. These funds will be used to implement the Consolidated Plan. Housing related CDBG activities will be used to fund housing rehabilitation, downpayment assistance for homebuyers and the transitional housing program.

The Town's Community Development Department will be responsible for monitoring progress toward the achievement of Consolidated Plan goals, as well as compliance with any applicable Federal rules and regulations.

Other entities involved with the accomplishment of the Consolidated Plan include private financial institutions (banks, and mortgage companies) which finance housing, housing developers and housing management organizations.


Description of Key Projects

The Town of Normal One Year Action Plan outlines the proposed use of approximately $640,000 in CDBG funds. These funds will be spent on housing and infrastructure activities, including:

$260,000 for the rehabilitation of 14 single family homes, to include lead-based paint abatement and accessibility grants to the disabled.

$2,000 for the maintenance of 4 transitional housing dwelling units.

$81,500 for the purchase and replacement of 4 dilapidated units with affordable houses.

$65,000 to provide curb cuts to enhance community accessibility to the disabled.

$39,200 for the rebuilding of 658 lineal feet of curb/gutter, street, sidewalk, sewer and water mains along Church Street.

$12,000 for the replacement of deteriorated playground equipment in Fell Park.

$15,000 to provide hot meals once per day to income eligible senior residents.

$50,000 to subsidize homeless providers substance abuse/mental health counseling.

$75,000 in downpayment assistance for deferred payment loan to 20 low/moderate income homebuyers.


The Town does not target its funds to a specific area, rather they are spent on a city-wide basis. The following maps are included:

Lead Agencies

The Community Development Department is the primary executing agency, to be assisted by two nonprofit agencies (Scott Meals, and Chestnut Health Systems).

Housing Goals

The Town of Normal's housing goals for the first year include increasing the supply of affordable housing through the awarding of 25 new Section 8 Certificates; the production of 360 affordable units for low-income renters through the states Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program; the making of housing rehabilitation loans for 13 low-income households; the provision of home weatherization funds to approximately 90 dwelling units; the providing of downpayment assistance to 20 Other Low-Income homebuyers; and provide funds to acquire, demolish and construct homes for 4 low-income families.


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, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects; in addition: a table provides information about the project(s).

MAP 6 depicts neighborhood streets and proposed HUD funded projects, as described in the table under MAP 5

To comment on Normal's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Steven Westerdahl
Community Development Officer
Telephone # (309) 454-9557
FAX # (309) 454-9723

Return to Illinois' Consolidated Plans.