Community Revitalization

Community Revitalization

Community Revitalization is the implementation of intentional efforts that are likely to lead to measurable increases in access to employment, living wage jobs, healthcare, supportive services, community amenities, transportation, quality, and affordable housing stock. Community Revitalization plays a prominent role in ensuring the health and success of Illinois communities, and therefore, IHDA is a strong proponent of these processes.

IHDA offers free proactive planning services to communities throughout Illinois. Through these partnerships, IHDA planners work alongside local residents, leaders, and organizations to develop tangible revitalization strategies for their communities. Community Revitalization strategies and activities are also incentivized within IHDA’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program; IHDA’s Community Revitalization staff is available to provide technical assistance to sponsors and communities seeking to submit their strategies within a LIHTC application.

Community Revitalization can look very different across communities, and can be inclusive of a wide variety of activities and processes. For the purposes of IHDA’s proactive planning services, there are three primary pillars or areas of Community Revitalization: Economic Development, Housing Development, and Community Development. Examples of each are listed below.

Proactive Planning with IHDA’s Community Revitalization Program

IHDA is committed to expanding the capacity of underserved communities in Illinois to identify local housing needs and to empower those communities to take steps to meet those needs. IHDA offers free planning services to communities and organizations statewide through its Community Revitalization Program. Through this program, IHDA partners with local residents, leaders, and organizations to undertake planning activities, develop strategies for future revitalization and investment, and produce official documentation for communities to utilize in their pursuit of future development.

Currently, IHDA offers long-term comprehensive planning partnerships to communities and organizations located outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. These partnerships include a wide variety of planning activities including market review, community outreach, housing stock surveying, and funding strategy development. These activities and partnerships result in a formal Housing Needs Assessment plan that communities can utilize to pursue their future development goals and investments, and that satisfies the 10-point Community Revitalization category in IHDA’s 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program.

Long-term comprehensive planning partnerships are not available within the following counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.

Communities and organizations located within the Chicago metropolitan area may partner with IHDA’s Community Revitalization Program to undertake select planning activities and components. The current list of available planning activities is located under the Proactive Planning Services drop-down below. IHDA encourages communities located within the Chicago metropolitan area to connect with one of the planning agencies and organizations that offer services and work specifically within the Chicago-region:

IHDA employs two full-time Community Revitalization Planning Specialists (CRPSs) who are available to work with you and your community to discuss your current or desired plans for promoting revitalization and development in your community. Regardless of where you are in the process of community revitalization, IHDA’s CRPSs can provide technical assistance to you in the following ways:

  • Economic Development
  • Understand the guidelines for preparing Community Revitalization Strategies on your Low Income Housing Tax Credit application
  • Coordinate with other state, regional, and federal agencies who may be able to meet your community’s needs
  • Strategically plan for future tax credit development sites
  • Gain expertise regarding housing development, planning processes, and utilizing governmental resources
  • Connect to market analysis tools that help communities understand and predict trends in their areas, particularly related to housing
  • Begin the process of intergovernmental/multi-jurisdictional coordination and planning
  • Strategize future planning and investment in your community

To start the Community Revitalization process, reach out via email to or complete the Community Revitalization Technical Assistance Request Form below:

Community Revitalization Technical Assistance Request Form

Community Needs Assessment Survey

Community Revitalization Technical Assistance Request Form

Please complete this Community Revitalization Technical Assistance Request to start the Community Revitalization Strategy process. When completed,  please submit this form to The Community Revitalization committee will evaluate each request to identify the next steps for you and your respective community.

For questions on this form or with your request, please contact

Community Revitalization Planning Checklist

Checklist used to help guide you in formulating your CR plan.  This checklist helps define the basic plan components of ‘community participation’, ‘adoption, approval, or local champion’, ‘concerted effort for a specific community/neighborhood’, ‘consideration of affordable housing’ and ‘economic development integration.

Community Revitalization Flyer

One page flyer that provides an overall summary of IHDA’s Community Revitalization process and includes Community Revitalization Planning Specialist (CRPS) contact information.


This document provides answers to frequently asked questions about IHDA’s Community Revitalization Strategy Process including technical assistance, and Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Application and Scoring. This FAQ sheet is meant to serve as a general guide and may be updated from time to time. Please reach out to IHDA’s Community Revitalization team at with additional questions.

 Community Needs Assessment Survey

Your participation in this Community Needs Assessment Survey will help our agency and your community strategize for future planning and investment, and identify community needs and goals. The survey first considers several community characteristics such as: Mobility, Community Life, Economy, Education and Wellness, and lastly, Community Engagement and Initiatives. The second portion of the survey further assesses your community input.

The survey is completely anonymous, and does not collect any identifying information. You should be able to complete the survey in under 10 minutes.

Stakeholder Planning

Please use this form to evaluate the stakeholders currently involved in your project. Write out our strategies and ideas to address the sectors which are missing stakeholder coverage, if applicable to the project

Housing Stock Survey Training Video

IHDA conducts Housing Stock Surveys in partnership with communities through its proactive planning program. Housing Stock Surveys help to collect information about an area’s building stock, and detail conditions about residential structures. These surveys can help communities identify their needs and priorities, as well as access resources to address them. IHDA currently utilizes ArcGIS Collector to conduct its Housing Stock Surveys. If you are assisting a community that has partnered with IHDA to conduct a Housing Stock Survey, please access the training video linked above for details about how to complete your survey.

Community Revitalization Thresholds and Scoring Criteria

This document outlines IHDA’s Community Revitalization mandatory Threshold Requirements and Scoring Criteria under the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, in conjunction with the QAP. Projects with a Community Revitalization condition should reference the Threshold Requirements; those seeking up to 10 points in the Community Revitalization category (9% projects only) should reference both the Threshold Requirements and Scoring Criteria. 

Sponsors seeking 4% and 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits should utilize this guide when compiling their Community Revitalization submission.

Cover letter template for Community Revitalization submissions

All 4% and 9% LIHTC projects submitting a Community Revitalization strategy in fulfillment of a condition or seeking points must include a cover letter that cites the location providing evidence for each Threshold Requirement and Scoring Criteria, referencing the document(s) and page number(s) within their submission.

Sponsors may utilize IHDA’s cover letter template to fulfill this requirement, or may submit their own.

Watch an instructional video for utilizing the Cover letter template

Asset Map template for Community Revitalization submissions

All 4% and 9% LIHTC projects submitting a Community Revitalization strategy are required to submit one map that locates various community assets, resources, and planned developments under the Defined Community Revitalization Strategy and Area threshold requirement (C).

Sponsors may utilize IHDA’s asset map template to fulfill this requirement, or may submit their own.

Watch an instructional video for utilizing the Asset Map template

Community Revitalization Strategy Area (CRSA) Market Snapshot

All 4% and 9% LIHTC projects submitting a Community Revitalization strategy are required to submit a Community Revitalization Strategy Area (CRSA) Market Snapshot that provides select demographic, economic, and housing data for the immediate area surrounding the project site(s) under the Economic development integration threshold requirement (A).

Sponsors must utilize IHDA’s CRSA Market Snapshot to fulfill this requirement.

Watch an instructional video for completing the CRSA Market Snapshot

Supplementing QOLI Scoring with CRS Guide

IHDA provides technical assistance to project sponsors and communities that require or are interested in submitting a Community Revitalization (CR) Strategy or in supplementing the existing Quality of Life Index (QOLI) score with CR Strategies.  If Project Sponsor elects to supplement existing QOLI score with CR documentation, eligible criteria are indicated in this document along with the relevant QOLI category.

Community Outreach Toolkit for sponsor-hosted meetings

All 4% and 9% LIHTC projects submitting a Community Revitalization strategy are required to fulfill the Community participation threshold requirement by evidencing recent community engagement activities within their project’s CRSA. Sponsors can evidence this requirement (in-full or in-part) by hosting community or stakeholder meetings, and may also score points (9% projects only) under the Improvements in amenities and services (E) scoring criteria through these activities. The Community Outreach Toolkit provides community meeting forms and activities that sponsors can utilize to host meetings and satisfy both the threshold requirements and scoring criteria.

Sponsors may utilize IHDA’s Community Outreach Toolkit towards fulfilling the Community participation threshold and seeking points under the Improvements and amenities and services scoring criteria.

Watch an instructional video for utilizing the Community Outreach Toolkit

Map of current QCTs and R/ECAPs for determining Community Revitalization Requirements

This map shows the most current Qualified Census Tract (QCT), Racially or Ethnically Concentrated Area of Poverty (R/ECAP), and Difficult Development Area (DDA) designations available. LIHTC projects located in areas designated as QCTs and/or R/ECAPs are required to submit Community Revitalization documentation that meets thresholds at time of application.