National

Housing permits are down sharply in Illinois

Local communities are feeling the full force of the national mortgage crisis, with the number of permits taken out for the construction of new houses in many towns cut in half or even worse.

O'Fallon Planning and Zoning Department Director Ted Shekell said the city is on a pace to issue about 150 residential building permits this year -- compared to an average of about 327 new homes built the previous three years.

In Shiloh, 86 residential permits were requested in 2007, compared to 27 so far this year, a pace for about 36 new homes.

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