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posted: 2/8/2013 5:10 PM

Kane, Elgin gear up for foreclosure makeovers

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  • Tenants have begun moving into Elgin ArtSpace lofts along Spring Street. Megan Lalleman is the first to move in.

      Tenants have begun moving into Elgin ArtSpace lofts along Spring Street. Megan Lalleman is the first to move in.
    Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer


With 50 of the building's 55 units leased and construction of commercial space under way, the Elgin ArtSpace building is arguably the most visible recent success of the Kane-Elgin HOME Consortium.

The group kicked in $750,000 to renovate that building into affordable housing. Now they are ready to dole out $1.42 million in federal funds for the 2013 round of projects.

That total is a slight boost in the amount of funds the consortium has had in recent years, perhaps reflecting an uptick in the housing market. Five of the seven vacant or foreclosed homes the consortium overhauled in southwest Elgin last year sold. The two remaining homes are under contract. The $644,000 earned from the home sales flows back into the foreclosure redevelopment program.

The group is targeting about $1.1 million to get nine homes out of vacant or foreclosed status in 2013. Properties typically targeted involve: homes other contractors won't touch because they are in such bad shape; locations that have had a problem with vandalism; or high-profile properties that would boost the status of a neighborhood if they were made over.

Habitat for Humanity of Northern Fox Valley will be in charge of getting six of those properties back in shape.

Scott Berger and Kane County's Office of Community Reinvestment oversee all the funds and project work. Berger said identification of the nine properties will begin in late spring. The contractors performing the work would then be in line to close on the properties in early summer. It's possible the homes, with their new facelifts, would return to the market as soon as fall.

Berger said potential buyers can get a look at a work in progress as contractors finish up a home at 414 Van Buren Street, in Batavia, just southeast of downtown. That property is set to return to the market next month.

The consortium will also dedicate $187,500 dollars to assist first-time homebuyers with down payments and closing costs. That money is expected to help buy about 20 homes throughout Kane County.

Existing homeowners who could use some upgrades on their property can apply for a little more than $81,000 of funds the consortium has set aside by getting in touch with Community Contacts, which handles that work.

The rest of the budget, about $55,000, will fund the administration of the programs.

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