Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the organization that built affordable housing in the East Bluff. We regret the error.

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Accompanied by Peoria Mayor Dr. Rita Ali and other city leaders, Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-Ill.) took a bus tour around the city showcasing projects helped by federal funds.

The stops highlighted affordable housing units the Peoria Opportunity Foundation and Habit for Humanity built.

“This is where we find the ways that our government works for the people,” said Sorensen.

Sorensen is prioritizing two Peoria community projects in the appropriations bill 2024: $500,000 for safe, affordable housing in the Southside and $500,000 for walkable sidewalks in the East Bluff.

“We know that increasing homeownership builds generational wealth for residents. It works to stabilize neighborhoods and lays the groundwork for future growth. This new housing will be critical to helping Peoria achieve those goals,” he said.

Mayor Ali said providing safe, affordable housing is a top priority for the city.

“Today, we want to really focus on the work the city has done to create safe, quality, and affordable housing to our community with the assistance of federal funding…It is imperative that this funding continue as the need for safe, affordable quality housing in our community persists,” she said.

Third District Councilman Tim Riggenbach said he is proud of the city’s increased access to affordable housing, but much more is needed.

“It takes all levels of government, the support and engagement of residents, and strong relationships with the nonprofit community to improve a city. I’m here to tell you Peoria is a shining example of how that can happen,” he said.

Sorensen said well-constructed sidewalks are critical for neighborhoods with high foot traffic. Deteriorated sidewalks force residents to walk on the street or in the grass.

“We want to support walkability in lower-income areas where many residents rely on public transportation to get where they need to go. Our neighbors need sound sidewalks to do that and that’s what this funding will deliver,” he said.

“Investing in sidewalks supports walkability, increases safety and accessibility, and builds community connectivity,” added Ali.

Sorensen said the next steps are to get the appropriations bill passed and signed into law.