WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Project Rebound Helping Potential Homebuyers

Jul 10, 2018

Project Rebound is a non-profit organization that looks for single family homes in Galesburg that can be bought, renovated, and then sold for $60,000 or less with no down payment.  It strives to help people who are working stable jobs and have good credit but who don't make enough money to save for a down payment. 

“As far as we know, we are the only organization doing exactly this type of program,” said Carrie McKillip, a Community Development Educator with the University of Illinois Extension.

She said applications are always accepted for Project Rebound, which just celebrated its second anniversary.  The online application process can be completed at the University of Illinois Extension’s website for Henderson, Knox, McDonough, and Warren Counties.

A link to the application form can also be found on the Project Rebound Galesburg Facebook page.

Applications are considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

McKillip described Project Rebound as “a small, local, not-for-profit” organization. She said the city waives the inspection fees for its homes and, in exchange, the group guarantees buyers for those homes, keeping the properties on the tax rolls.

Local contractors do the renovations and make a bit of a profit, and the banks earn interest on the loans.

But McKillip said the top priority is to help people buy homes in Galesburg – people who otherwise might not be able to do so. 

“We have renovated and sold four houses, which doesn’t sound like a lot but for us it’s enormous to be able to think that four families are able to invest in our city and hopefully grow and raise their families here,” she said.

“50 years ago people in Galesburg could get a factory job that paid enough so they could buy a house. As our economy has changed, those kinds of jobs may not be available but we have some pretty stable employment for people. If they can get into home ownership hopefully we can help our community grow.”