In the Peoria City Ordinance No. 11,939 established on April 18, 1989, the Peoria City Council set forth a Special Services Area for the East Bluff of Peoria to add a special tax to the East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services, Incorporated for the specific purpose of providing neighborhood services which "are in addition to those governmental services generally provided by the City of Peoria throughout said City." (paragraph f). Paragraph (g) goes on to state "That the Special Service District will provide the East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services a portion of the resources required to continue their efforts to maintain the character and stability of this neighborhood." Paragraph (h) is where we now find a great disparity between what was and what is the East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc.
(h) That the East Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc. has a proven track record in providing neighborhood services, including:
I) providing low interest loans (1/2% to 9%) through the administration of a $300,000 dollar revolving loan fund [The EBNHS, Inc. has provided no such loans to any East Bluff Residents in the last 3 years]
II) neighborhood paint-up program which provided paint for 215 homes in the East Bluff [no such program exists at this time]
III) Neighborhood landscaping efforts [no such efforts exist at this time]
IV) encouragement of home ownership through one half million dollars in low interest mortgages secured through IHDA [Again, to my knowledge, no such program is in existence, nor does the EBNHS, Inc. intend to conduct such services]
V) extended code enforcement efforts through an advocacy role with existing city code enforcement efforts [again, no such effort exists]
VI) neighborhood planning, through liaison with the city departments and committees [you guessed it, does not exist]
So if the EBNHS,Inc. is not providing any of these services, what exactly are they doing?
They are collecting tax dollars from the citizens of the East Bluff to purchase housing in the East Bluff (they own four units, including the house on Wisconsin used as their office/headquarters) for the stated purpose of "rehab for resale", but since the city has declared the East Bluff a "blighted" area, coupled with the increased crime and vandalism rate, the value of these properties has made it impossible to sell them, so the EBNHS, Inc., a Not For Profit Corporation, is now in the business of renting property.
According to their original articles of incorporation, filed March 5, 1986, the EBNHS,Inc. is to have no paid officers, members, or Directors (paragraph 4.b). Yet the proposed 2011 budget allows for a Salaries of $38,563.20 with a Fringe allowance of 12% for an additional $4,627.79, which comes to a total of $43,191.00. Seeing as there is only one Executive Director, in the person of Peggy Shadid-Joseph, I am assuming she is the recipient of that salary. Now since she also resides in the building owned by the EBNHS,Inc. on Wisconsin Avenue, I'd say the perks are going pretty good for a person who is apparently unable to fulfill her duties. The Website is not up to date, the paperwork is not filed correctly, and in some cases not at all, and her hours of operation apparently are at her discretion.
Since the City of Peoria has seen fit to designate our area as "Blighted", thus causing our property values to plummet, and since the City has also chosen to add an additional tax to our area through the designation of a TIF area, I'd say the EBNHS,Inc. is a superfluous entity that no longer needs to be in business, and certainly no longer needs to be funded by the citizens of the East Bluff. The stated purpose of the TIF is to rebuild the East Bluff through grants and low interest loans to the residents to improve their properties, and also to improve the local business and infrastructure through additional funds raised in the TIF. To continue to utilize the Special Service District to duplicate the efforts of the TIF is ludicrous.