Local nonprofit to build 20-home subdivision in East St. Louis neighborhood
An anonymous benefactor is donating money for the homes to help revitalize the entire city
EAST ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Twenty new homes are being built in the heart of East St. Louis. Right now, the plot of land near 25th Street and Gross Avenue is full of trees and brush. That’s going to change thanks to a local nonprofit that plans to revitalize the entire city.
“This is home for me, you know what I’m saying. My family’s here,” Ron Howard said.
Howard has lived in East St. Louis his entire life. He said most people finish high school, leave and never come back.
“Man I can’t wait to get out of East. St. Louis, because either you’re gonna go to jail, get shot, killed. That’s the mindset was in the past, so we’re trying to change that,” Howard said.
For years now, Howard’s been apart of an East St. Louis nonprofit organization called Landsdowne Up that helps clean up the community. They also mentor children, fostering their love and appreciation for the city. Now, the organization plans to pay it forward in an even bigger way.
“We’re building market-value homes, and it is really, it’s not a donation. We have a benefactor, and he feels that one of the things we need to do is, because he’s been blessed, we should go ahead and invest in the community,” Kevin Green said.
Green is one of the masterminds behind Lansdowne Up.
“The homes are designed to get people who have moved from East St. Louis in search of better housing. We actually want to create the houses that will cause them to move into this city, move back to this city, and to inhabit this city, and become part of the greater community,” Green said.
Lansdowne Up is working to keep the homes affordable. Green said while the homes may be out of some people’s budgets, he’s holding out hope that the build draws more people to the area.
“A revival of people, a revival of businesses, just a revival across the board,” Green said.
Some residents are hesitant of the project, but others said they think it will make the city more appealing and attractive to outsiders wanting to move.
“Like somewhere you would see in Fairview, O’Fallon, or somewhere like that, and they’re starting to build that here in East St. Louis. Then, they may wanna come back,” Howard said.
Green said site prep will begin in the next two weeks. Then, they’ll officially break ground and start the building process in August. He said he’s hoping to have all 20 homes built by August 2023.
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