An effort to improve neighborhoods continues in Round Lake Beach as the village has agreed to buy another rundown house that eventually will be demolished.
And aside from the purchase of a small home at 1110 Idlewild Drive, efforts are ongoing on various fronts to address general housing issues in and around the village, officials said.
Village officials recently approved the purchase of the Idlewild home for $22,000, not including demolition costs. The purchase is part of the village's long-running Housing Acquisition and Rehabilitation Program, under which it has purchased some two dozen homes.
Originally, the strategy was to buy, rehab and resell blighted homes, but that has shifted since the housing downturn, said Jon Wildenberg, director of economic development.
"Most recently, it's been in the acquisition phase of properties that are vacant or blighted," Wildenberg said.
"We're also involved in a couple of housing studies. We're looking for the best way to get those (homes acquired by the village) into the private marketplace, possibly for development of new homes," he added.
Demolition of the Idlewild home won't be immediate as the village may pursue other blighted properties in that area. It likely will hold the property until it can be incorporated into an overall plan for the area or be declared surplus, Village Administrator Dave Kilbane told village trustees.
At the same meeting where the Idlewild purchase was approved, the village board also agreed to buy a flood-prone home at 532 Hawthorn Drive for $100,000.
In that transaction, the village is acting as a conduit for the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission. The agency had identified the home to buy as part of a grant program and a deal was struck, but it was voided when the home went into foreclosure. The village will make the purchase and sell it to the stormwater agency.
Round Lake Beach is involved with two housing studies.
The first involves a study by its legal firm to assess current conditions and determine how the village might get acquisitions on the market.
"Hopefully, the study will guide us to what the best next steps will be," Wildenberg said.
The village also is proceeding with documentation to be part of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's Homes for a Changing Region program. The effort would also include Hainesville, Round Lake, Round Lake Park and Round Lake Heights.
"It's more of a subregional look involving all those communities," Wildenberg said.
Aspects of that program would include future supply and demand trends and suggestions for long-term housing policies, he added.