In budget discussions at this evenings City Council meeting the future of the 50/50 Architectural Grant program, the 75/25 Architectural Rehab grant program and the Deconversion grant programs were discussed.
This was the first slide in the presentation.
Click here to view the rest of the slides in the Power Point presentation that Marc Mylott and Christen Sundquist presented to the Council.
A huge thanks goes out to all those that wrote letters to the Council. You made a difference!
Here are some of my notes form the meeting:
The 323 units eliminated in the deconversion program involved 244 properties.The program awarded $25,000 for eliminating one unit in a two unit home. It awarded $30,000/unit for a building with three or more units. Money was awarded on a first come, first served basis. The applications for the last ten years were fewer than the year 2007 alone. People are not spending the money to deconvert. There is a demand for rental units so flippers are rehabbing and then renting the properties. In 2008 there were 5200 rental licenses with 23,000 today.
Councilman Dunne Asked Marc if the city ever goes back to make sure the home has not reverted back. Marc said that the city cross referenced the deconverted homes with complaints of overcrowding and there was no correlation.
Councilman Gavin added that in 20 years the deconversion program has been a huge success. He suggested the program go into hibernation. He supports the deconversion program but does not believe it should be funded with Riverboat funds.
It was added that the Architectural Rehabilitation program does a great deal to make our neighborhoods special. The group was reminded that in 2012 there was a funding freeze for the program.
Councilwoman Rauschenberger added that our beautiful architecture sets Elgin apart and reminded everyone that we have gotten national, regional and local coverage for our beautiful homes. She loves seeing our city and citizens investing in our neighborhoods.
The requirements for the grants were reviewed. For the 50/50 grant program the home does not need to be owner occupied and there is no income restrictions. The home has to be less that four units.
The 75/25 program requires owner occupancy and is for low to moderate income residents.
Councilman Shaw added that he is in favor of keeping the Deconversion program but not the other grants. He would like a loan program , not grants so the funds could be recycled.
Mayor Kaptain suggested that perhaps the grant programs need to be rewritten. "We need to be innovative and not just polish an old wheel