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

Consolidated Plan Contact


The city of Pekin is located near Peoria in central Illinois, about 200 miles southwest of Chicago. Pekin's location in the heart of a very fertile agricultural region made it an ideal location for industries involved in processing agricultural products, but recessions and a loss of manufacturing employment have caused a variety of economic problems for the city.

Action Plan

Pekin will use $544,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and $115,000 in program income for its Consolidated Plan in 1995. They will be spent primarily on public facilities and infrastructure improvements, economic development loans, and affordable housing initiatives.

Citizen Participation

The Pekin Consolidated Plan citizen participation plan involves several avenues for public opinion to influence the planning process. Letters soliciting opinions will be sent to local government, public and private agencies, organizations representing lower-income residents, and interested citizens. The city will publish a public hearing notice in the local newspapers inviting people to participate in housing and non-housing plan activities. Two public hearings should be scheduled, one before and one after the plan is made available for public comment. There will be a 30-day comment period where citizens will have access to a draft of the plan.


Pekin is part of the Peoria metropolitan area, whose population fell almost 8 percent between 1980 and 1990, to 339,172. The population of Pekin, which was 32,254 in 1990, fell 5 percent during the same time. More than 15 percent of the Pekin population are age 65 and older, while 28 percent are under 20 years old. Only 1.3 percent of Pekin residents are members of a racial or ethnic minority, and those persons are not concentrated in a particular area of the city.



Future population trends in the area are difficult to predict because of continued uncertainty about the future of Caterpillar Inc., the area's major employer. The company has discussed the possibility of moving its manufacturing facilities elsewhere. But there are some positive economic developments in Pekin that could increase the city's population, including the opening of a new Federal correctional facility that could employ 250 persons, the development of a new business park, and riverboat gambling and related facilities in nearby East Peoria.

The Peoria metropolitan area has depended heavily on heavy manufacturing. During the recession of 1982, thousands of Pekin residents lost their jobs. The situation caused unemployment rates in Pekin to increase, peaking at 19 percent in 1983. The city experienced nearly 3,000 home foreclosures, while the assessed valuation of the entire city fell from $177 million to $120 million.

Housing Needs

Twenty percent of all households in Pekin are experiencing some type of housing problem (affordability, overcrowding, or substandard conditions). This group accounts for 34 percent of rental households and 13 percent of homeowners. In 1990 the percentage of minority renter households (particularly Hispanics) having housing problems was higher than that of the city's renter population as a whole.

Overcrowding is a problem for some extremely low-income households (0-30 percent of median family income [MFI]), low-income households (31-50 percent MFI), and moderate- income households (51-80 percent MFI), particularly large renter households. Nearly 45 percent of extremely low-income, 11 percent of low-income, and 25 of percent moderate- income households live in overcrowded units.

Housing Market Conditions

In 1990 there were 13,776 housing units in Pekin. Of all occupied units, 68 percent were owner-occupied and 32 percent were rental units.

Although the Pekin population decreased between 1980 and 1990, the number of households increased 1 percent to 13,078 in 1990, and the average number of persons per household was 2.43. During the same time, there was a net loss of 16 housing units. This reduction, although slight, has put a squeeze on the city's housing market. In 1980 the vacancy rate for all units was 9 percent, but by 1990, the rate had declined to 5 percent. According to real estate and apartment management representatives, there were almost no vacancies by mid-1991, and what vacancies there were tended to be filled quickly.

Although rents in Pekin are lower than many other metropolitan localities, the supply of rental housing units is a concern. The median rent in 1990 was $219. There has not been any multifamily construction since the early 1980s. The single-family housing market is tight in Pekin, causing prices to rise dramatically during the 1980s and early 1990s. The 1994 median price was $56,165.

Affordable Housing Needs

Of rental households 67 percent of extremely low-income (0-30 percent MFI), 44 percent of low-income households (31-50 percent MFI), and 13 percent of moderate-income households (51-80 percent MFI) pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing. For owner households this is also true for 65 percent of extremely low-income, 38 percent of low-income, and 13 percent of moderate-income households.

On the basis of the selling price information provided by the Board of Realtors, it would appear that much of Pekin's single-family housing stock would be affordable to many low- income households, provided those households had the required downpayment and provided there were many units for sale. However, downpayments are likely to pose a barrier to affordable housing. Another problem exists for families attempting to obtain smaller mortgages (in the $20,000 to $30,000 range). Most financial institutions will not approve mortgages in this range because of the institutions' inability to sell such mortgages on the secondary market.

Homeless Needs

There are no homeless shelters in Pekin. But estimates are that at least 40 homeless people, including families and individuals, are in the city. Pekin residents often seek shelter in facilities in Peoria and Woodford County. There are 9 separate shelters in Peoria providing about 470 beds for homeless people. All of the shelters in Peoria will provide some form of day service if needed. The Center for Prevention of Abuse, the Salvation Army, the Southside Mission, and Phoenix House have established day services.

The Salvation Army, the YMCA, and the Center for Independent Living provide vouchers for food, shelter, and other general services. The Southside Office of Concern provides counseling and referral service for homeless individuals. Other services include transportation and day care. The Southside Office of Concern and Family Services provide programs targeting the very low-income population, including counseling in a variety of areas and general referral services.

It is difficult to make a precise estimate of the number of persons threatened with homelessness in Pekin. The Salvation Army provides financial assistance for rent, utilities, and food to about 40 households monthly, and has indicated that it could use more funds for rent. The Tazwood Community Services provides emergency rental assistance, assistance for utilities, and food assistance to several hundred households per year.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

The Pekin Housing Authority operates a total of 196 conventional public housing units in the city, of which 150 units are for families and 46 are for the elderly. The Pekin Housing Authority's waiting list has 402 names. In addition, the city has 7 HUD-assisted privately- owned projects, including 5 projects for families (529 units), 1 project for the elderly (215 units), and 1 project containing 50 family and 110 elderly units. Public and subsidized housing in Pekin accounts for 22 percent of all rental units in the city.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Many zoning requirements attached to construction of multifamily housing, such as limitations on number of dwellings per acre, parking requirements, and the size of the livable floor area can raise costs enough as to be prohibitive.

Fair Housing

The city will prepare an analysis of impediments to fair housing.

Lead-Based Paint

Of the 13,058 housing units built in Pekin before 1979, 75 percent are estimated to contain lead-based paint. In 1994 976 out of 12,321 children under age 6 in Tazewell County were tested for lead poisoning; 16 children were found to have lead in their blood.

In an effort to reduce the number of children threatened by lead-based paint poisoning, Pekin will conduct inspections for potential lead-based paint hazards in homes of applicants under the CDBG-funded Housing Rehabilitation Program. If deteriorating paint is found which might be lead-based, the city will request an environmental inspection by the County Health Department. All city housing rehabilitation applicants will continue to receive information on the dangers of lead-based paint poisoning. Pekin will work with the Tazewell County Health Department to ensure that lead screening of children under 7 years old is performed and environmental inspections are conducted.

Other Issues

The Tazewell County Resource Center, which provides services for the developmentally disabled, reports that seven of its clients need supportive housing. The Tazwood Center for Human Services estimates it could use 35 to 50 housing units for the seriously mentally ill. And the Community Workshop and Training Center, which provides employment and training opportunities for people with mental or physical disabilities, estimates a need for supportive housing for 15 to 20 people.

The county Health Department reports a need for more accessible housing for persons with AIDS. Twenty-four people have been diagnosed with AIDS in Tazewell County since 1981, but how many live in Pekin is unknown.

Community Development Needs

Many of the streets, sidewalks, and sewer lines are as old as the city, which was founded in 1824. The city needs to work on street reconstruction, handicapped accessibility, drainage improvements, combination sewer improvements, solid waste improvements, and demolition activities. Increased social services are needed as the economic pressures from the losses in manufacturing employment increase personal pressures. Programs to deal with teen pregnancy, family violence, and substance abuse are all needed. Although Pekin's economy has stabilized somewhat since the 1980s, activities to strengthen the economy and create new jobs are critical.


Housing Priorities

In its 5-year strategy, the city has identified a number of priorities it believes will best meet the housing needs of its citizens.

Housing rehabilitation for existing homeowners. The city will continue to fund a housing rehabilitation program. Weatherization assistance is expected to be available to qualified very low-income households through the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program.

Homebuyer assistance/affordable housing development for first-time homebuyers. Pekin will fund a downpayment assistance program. The city is also participating in the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program that can enable lower-income households to lower the costs of purchasing a home. Pekin will continue to pursue the development of affordable single- family homes for first-time buyers by attempting to locate sites and then encouraging contractors and financial institutions to participate in their development.

Affordable rental housing for all categories of renters. The city will support the development of additional affordable rental housing through programs such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program. Proposals for such housing will be evaluated case-by-case to ensure that each complies with the city's objectives of promoting a positive community image and enhancing the city's economic environment.

Support services for homeless people and people threatened with homelessness. Pekin will support the efforts of the Salvation Army to determine the needs of the homeless population, the actions to be taken and possibly locate a site for a homeless shelter and to obtain funding for a shelter. The city is also providing assistance for emergency shelter through the Salvation Army and for the activities of Christian Civic Outreach.

Support facilities and services for people with special needs. Pekin will support the efforts of nonprofit agencies such as Tazewell County Resource Center, Tazwood Center for Human Services, and Community Workshop and Training Center in seeking funding for additional supportive housing facilities.

Rehabilitation of rental housing. The city will continue to offer CDBG funds for rental rehabilitation. It should be noted, however, that there has not been any demand from rental property owners to take advantage of these funds. The city plans to explore the possibility of developing a program that will foster rental rehabilitation. The most likely source of funds for a rental rehabilitation program would be the HOME program.

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

The city has identified the following three general areas it plans to focus on to meet community development needs:

Infrastructure improvements. Street reconstruction, enhancement of handicapped accessibility, drainage improvements, curb and gutter improvements, sidewalk improvements, sewer improvements, solid waste improvements, engineering or technical support, and demolition will be major activities.

Public services. In an effort to help local agencies provide health and human services, Pekin will fund social service organizations such as the Salvation Army, Christian Civic Outreach, and the Boy's and Girl's Club of Pekin. Youth development activities to improve skills and to build self-esteem, emergency housing assistance, rental utility assistance, a food pantry, and distribution of school supplies are examples of programs the city will continue to fund.

Economic development. The city will continue a number of programs to promote economic development, including a revolving loan fund to help businesses that will save or create jobs to acquire new property or make improvements and purchase new equipment, machinery, or inventory.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

Pekin is committed to reducing the number of households with incomes below the poverty line. It will provide low-income people and families with opportunities to attain knowledge, skills, and the motivation necessary to become self-sufficient. The city, along with other local governments, various social service providers, and concerned citizens will work together to provide low-income households with resources to combat poverty.

The city plans to continue directing a portion of Consolidated Plan funds to local public service agencies to alleviate poverty. It will also support agencies such as the Total Health Consortium, a coalition of concerned citizens and professionals whose goal is to coordinate the efforts of existing organizations, professional agencies, and individuals to better meet the community's total health care needs and to serve as a catalyst for constructive changes.

Housing and Community Development Resources

In addition to the Federal resources mentioned in the Action Plan, Pekin has access to a number of local resources, such as: the Home Partnership Program, which offers loans at 95 percent of a property's value; the Community Home Buyers Program, which allows loan-to- value ratios of up to 95 percent and other untraditional underwriting criteria; and the Affordable Housing Program, which modifies underwriting standards to permit more low- and moderate-income borrowers to qualify for home loans.

A number of State resources also are available to Pekin: the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the Illinois Homebuyer Program, the Mortgage Credit Certificate Program, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, the Community Integrated Living Arrangements, the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, and the Crisis Assistance Program.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

The city's public affairs department, which is responsible for preparing the CDBG applications and proposals, annual and quarterly performance reports, and general administration of the various CDBG programs, is the lead agency. The city council has organized and appointed a number of people to committees involved in several aspects of Consolidated Plan decisions.

The city's Affordable Housing Committee reviews the Direct Homeownership Assistance Program and projects to develop affordable housing. The Citizen's Review Committee approves or denies applications for the city's Housing Rehabilitation Program. The Loan Review Committee provides recommendations to the city council on the Economic Development Financial Assistance Program applications for small-business loans.


Description of Key Projects


With few exceptions, the projects in the Action Plan will operate communitywide.


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.

MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within another of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point.

If you would like to comment on Pekin's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Jill Ellestad
400 Margaret Street
Pekin, IL 61554
Tel. (309) 477-2319
Fax. (309) 347-1064

Return to Illinois' Consolidated Plans.