GENEVA – By mid-2014, Kane County officials hope to use more than $2.6 million in federal grant money to make some county neighborhoods, blighted by foreclosures or a lack of maintenance, better places to live.
According to a plan made public this week, the county will use the federal money to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed homes, help low-income families improve their homes, help homeless shelters and help three county communities pay for street work.
The plan spells out how the county intends to use the money it hopes to receive through the federal HOME and Neighborhood Stabilization programs later this year. The work then would be carried out between mid-2013 and the middle of next year.
The county has used the money since 2010, in part, to buy, renovate and then resell about 30 homes that had been abandoned and foreclosed upon in various communities in the county, said Scott Berger, director of the Kane County Office of Community Reinvestment.
The work has been done on homes in Carpentersville, St. Charles, Batavia and North Aurora, among others, according to listings on the Community Reinvestment office website.
This year, the county intends to spend about $1.1 million of federal money on buying and rehabilitating more homes, according to the plan presented by Berger to the County Board.
Berger said county officials will decide later this year which vacant, foreclosed properties will be bought. He said they will use several criteria, including how visible the property is within a neighborhood, the condition of the house and how long the home has been on the market.
The program also will provide about $400,000 to assist with street projects in St. Charles, Batavia and Carpentersville, and $333,000 to community groups to fund assistance to low-income homeowners to improve their homes.
The plan must still be approved by the County Board. The board is expected to review the plan at its meeting in April.