News Flash

Town of Normal News

Posted on: December 15, 2023

Collaboration gives new life to vacant house, makes homeownership possible

Logo for YouthBuild McLean County

Normal, Ill. – Dec. 15, 2023 – The Town of Normal and YouthBuild McLean County collaborated to rehabilitate a previously vacant home on Glenn Avenue and made homeownership possible for a first-time buyer. 

In July 2022, the Town of Normal donated the property at 316 Glenn Ave. to YouthBuild and provided a $20,000 grant via Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to support extensive rehabilitation efforts at the property.

YouthBuild brought its mission to life and began rehabilitation efforts on the property immediately. The YouthBuild team completed the following work on the Glenn Avenue home:

  • New roof, siding and windows
  • New HVAC
  • New electrical and plumbing
  • Full kitchen and bathroom remodel
  • Restoration of original hardwood floors
  • Demolition and removal of a dilapidated garage

“Over the past year, our students demonstrated exceptional skill, creativity and determination as they transformed a house into a welcoming and affordable home,” says Tracey Polson, executive director at YouthBuild. “This project displays their craftsmanship and highlights the impact of providing hands-on learning experiences for young individuals seeking to make a positive difference in their lives and the community.

“The completed remodel signifies more than just a physical transformation; it represents the commitment of YouthBuild McLean County to empower and educate the next generation of skilled professionals,” Polson adds. “Students involved gained invaluable real-world experience in construction, design and teamwork, setting them on a path towards fulfilling and sustainable careers. We are especially thankful to the Town of Normal and all our partners for this incredible opportunity.”

No longer vacant, homeownership made possible

In exchange for the Town’s donation and funding, YouthBuild agreed to sell the home to an income-qualified household at a price that meets the affordable housing guideline of total housing costs at or below 30% or less of the household's monthly income. The home must continue to be owned by an income-qualified individual for at least five years. 

 The home is currently under contract with the closing scheduled at the end of December.

 “The Town is proud of this community partnership which provides so many benefits. This project gave life to a vacant, abandoned property, provided YouthBuild students with a valuable opportunity and made homeownership possible for someone in our community,” says Town of Normal Community Development Specialist Jennifer Toney

 The property is ideally located close to Glenn Elementary School, Carle BroMenn Hospital, Constitution Trail, Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University, public transportation and many other amenities.

 About YouthBuild McLean County

YouthBuild McLean County has been in operation for 29 years. The organization’s mission is to build, develop, inspire and challenge educationally and economically disadvantaged youth to make a difference. The organization is funded by community partners and federal, state and local grants. 

 YouthBuild staff and participants live by the following creed: 

“I am YouthBuild. I proudly accept the challenge YouthBuild offers me to transform my life through education, leadership development, completion of vocational training and service to my community. I gladly receive the opportunity to develop my independence, work history, and personal integrity. I make this pledge now to myself and to the world: I am YouthBuild. I do make the difference.”

Media Advisory

Members of the Town of Normal Council and YouthBuild Board of Directors will tour the rehabilitated YouthBuild home on Glenn Avenue to witness the power of their partnership.

  •  Who/What: Town of Normal Council and staff; YouthBuild Board of Directors, staff and volunteers 
  •  When: 5:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 18
  •  Where: Rehabilitated YouthBuild home, 316 Glenn Ave., Normal
  •  Why: The Town of Normal and YouthBuild McLean County are proud of their joint efforts to bring a previously vacant, blighted property back to a functioning, livable space. 
  •  Visuals: Photos of the home before and during rehabilitation will be displayed at the open house. 

Media Contact for Open House:  

Kersten Wilson,  Development Specialist, YouthBuild McLean County

  • 309-454-3898

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 If you need assistance accessing any program, service or event provided by the Town of Normal, please email ADA Coordinator Greg Troemel or call 309-454-9580

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