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Façade Improvement Program

East Dundee, Kane and Cook County

Housing Program

An MPC Housing Program case study

Program background

Created in 2014, East Dundee’s Residential Façade Improvement Program helps owners of single-family properties to improve the exteriors of their homes through the distribution of approximately $50,000 in grant funds per year. The program guidelines were revised in December 2016 to encourage greater municipal oversight in regards to project eligibility and the disbursement of funds.

How it works

While a number of communities in the Chicagoland region offer its residents grants or loans to complete home rehab projects, the Residential Façade Improvement Program in East Dundee is unique because all of its program funds are derived from video gaming revenue. In a 2010 advisory referendum, East Dundee residents voted to keep video gaming illegal by a very narrow margin, and the Village Board voted to ban it soon after. In 2012, the Village was approached by a number of business owners who said they were losing business to neighboring municipalities because of East Dundee’s ban on video gaming. After evaluating the business community’s concerns, the Village Board decided to lift the ban. East Dundee receives 5 percent of total revenue, and has assessed a $1,000 annual license fee to each establishment with video gaming machines as well as a $250 fee per machine.

Under the guidelines of the program, grant amounts cannot exceed 50 percent of all eligible activities or $5,000, whichever is less. Applicants are required to submit three bids, and the reimbursement amount will be based upon the lowest of the three bids the applicant received. Applicants must secure a building permit within 60 days of receiving project approval from the Village Board, and all work outlined in the project proposal must be completed by within a year. Additionally, program participants must commit to residing within their home for two years following reimbursement. The demolition of property before this time period requires 100 percent of the grant funds to be repaid to the Village. The sale of property before this time period requires 50 percent of the grant funds to be repaid.

More details regarding applicant and project eligibility »

Applications for grant funding are accepted between January 1st and March 31st each year. Village staff will review applications and recommend which projects should receive funding based on the program’s budget. The following criteria are used to evaluate applications: the value of the project; the extent to which the project will correct outstanding building code or property maintenance violations; and previous compliance and/or correction of building code or property maintenance violations by the applicant. Village staff project recommendations will be sent to the Village Board for consideration and final approval.

  • Goal

    Improve the condition of residential properties in order to: strengthen the economy, help the Village's home prices recover and improve the quality of housing in East Dundee’s older neighborhoods.

  • Target

    Single-family owner-occupied residential properties

  • Financing

    Approximately $50,000/year is allocated from video gaming revenue

  • Successes

    In 2015–2016, 16 homeowners participated in and finished their proposed work. The Village reimbursed more than $4,000 per household, meeting their budget of $5,000 per household.

  • Lessons Learned

    Each year, situations would arise that nobody in the Village Administration expected. For instance, the grant application stipulates that all work should be completed in a year’s time. On rare occasions, due to contractor delays or weather delays, this was not possible. Consequently, any extensions that are granted are done on an individual basis, given the progress and conditions.