Explosion in housing throws survey off

Robert Blackford/Editor

The number of new housing permits for the city of Aledo was steady from 2003 to 2006 with about five houses being built per year. Then the economic collapse hit and that number fell to nothing in no time flat.

In 2007 the number of new houses being built shrank to 0 in 2007. In fact, in the five years that span 2007 to 2011 only one new housing permit was recorded in the city.

That number exploded in 2012 to 41.

The cause for the explosion was simple, the 40 unit subdivision known as Buttonwood Trails which will be completed sometime in 2013.

 The City of Aledo, along with other government entities discovered through surveying the people of Aledo that residents felt there was a need for more low income housing within the city limits.

Stepping in to fill the void was The New Directions Housing Corporation in 2011 with the Buttonwood Trails proposal.

Ground was broken at the site last fall and unites were suppose to be ready to move into in late February but that didn't happen yet. The development is suppose to start taking applications 60 days prior to the date families may move in.

The Buttonwood Homes development are homes designed for individuals making $20,000 to $50,000 a year according to Roger Brown, of New Directions Housing Corporation. which is building the homes. They are single family dwellings of two, three and four bedrooms ranging between $300 and $700 per month to rent. Some will be ADA compliant.

Aledo Mayor Bill Breeden spoke to the Aledo Chamber of Commerce about the development earlier this year noting that among the Aledo City Council's objectives was to get people to live in Aledo.

"Forty percent of the 460 people who work at The Grind don't live in Aledo," the mayor said.

The Aledo City Council hopes the development will increase the number of people living in the city, broaden the tax base and mean new business ventures within the city.


In 2008 The Mercer Economic Development Partnership woking with the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs conducted a comprehensive Housing Needs Assessment for Mercer County with (MERGO) as the lead agency. A housing needs survey was mailed out to a total of 7,676 residents to which 1,621 responded. The majority of residents responding, 56 percent, felt the county needed more rental units.

A look at construction permits around the are:  http://databases.sj-r.com/construction-permits/