In 2013, the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, (CFFRV), in an effort to assist with the housing crisis in Kane County, partnered with the Kane County Office of Community Reinvestment, (KCOCR), and other housing agencies to submit a proposal to the Illinois Attorney General for National Foreclosure Settlement funds.
Funding was requested to support three objectives:
- Redevelop foreclosed and/or vacant properties, as part of a broader strategy to redevelop properties impacted by the foreclosure crisis;
- Provide counseling services to current and future homeowners;
- Assist non-profits, specifically those involved with the project, in improving the long- term viability of their organizations.
In 2015, the Community Foundation was awarded $3 Million in National Foreclosure Settlement funds. CFFRV, in partnership with KCOCR, established a committee to monitor the outcomes of the project.
In order to meet objective one (redevelop foreclosed and/or vacant properties, as part of a broader strategy to redevelop properties impacted by the foreclosure crisis) four redevelopment partners were engaged from the beginning: Housing Continuum, Inc., Spillane and Sons, Inc., Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity and Northern Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity.
As of May 1, 2017, the impact has been:
- 16 foreclosed properties, that were vacant for years, have been redeveloped.
- 13 properties have been completed, with an additional 3 underway.
- The average length of time these 16 properties were in foreclosed status was almost 3 years: 1,016 days or 2.78 years.
- Lead-based paint was abated in over half of the houses: 7 houses.
- Employment opportunities were provided for local contractors: 53 different contractors worked on some aspect of the projects.
- Of these 53 different contractors: 4 were women-owned businesses, 7 were minority-owned businesses and 24 were based in Kane County.
- Affordable housing was made available for low-income families.
- The average income of the households purchasing the units was $44,608. (The median income in Kane County is $70,906.)
- The average household size was 3.25. The average household size in Kane County is 2.98.
- 10 of the 13 households were first-time homebuyers.
- Neighborhoods and communities are being revitalized!
- These sixteen houses are part of a broader redevelopment strategy of the four partners involved in the project. Due to the fact that the partners in this project have used and continue to use both public and private funding, separate from the National Foreclosure Funds, 58 houses have been redeveloped in Kane County over the past two years (see map).
In order to reach the second objective (provide counseling services to current and future homeowners) CFFRV and KCOCR partnered with Joseph Corporation of Illinois.
As of January 1, 2017, the impact has been:
- 898 future homeowners were assisted with homebuyer education.
- 225 current homeowners were provided with foreclosure counseling.
- 96 households facing foreclosures that participated in the 16th Judicial District’s Foreclosure Mediation Program were assisted with counseling.
Lastly, to reach the third and final objective (assisting local non-profit agencies in improving their long-term viability) CFFRV and KCOCR utilized the technical assistance providers under contract with the Attorney General’s office to assist the non-profit partners. This assistance increased knowledge related to both short and long-term budgeting solutions to increase their viability as ongoing affordable housing providers in Kane County.
It is through this collective impact of partner agencies, government institutions and foundations utilizing the National Foreclosure Settlement Funds – along with other private and public dollars – that we are seeing the county revitalized.