Today, the Chicago City Council approved an Ordinance proposed by Mayor Daley that creates the “Vacant Building TIF Purchase and Rehabilitation Program” to provide incentives to first-time homebuyers in the City.  As mentioned in a previous post, the Program is designed to provide TIF funds to homebuyers with total household incomes of less than 100% of the Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area Median Income to purchase and substantially rehabilitate eligible properties.  In order to qualify, a property must be vacant, require substantial rehabilitation, contain fewer than four dwelling units, and be located in one of Chicago’s approximately 150 TIF areas.  TIF funds would be available to pay amounts up to 25% of the total cost to purchase and substantially rehabilitate the property.

A homebuyer interested in receiving TIF assistance from the Program must submit an application to the Department of Housing and Economic Development to demonstrate eligibility.  If the applicant is eligible, the Department Commissioner will determine the amount of assistance to be provided.  If the applicant receives assistance, the applicant is required to occupy the property as a principal residence for a certain period of time (between 5 and 15 years, depending on the amount of assistance received).

The Vacant Building TIF Purchase and Rehabilitation Program goes into effect immediately.  While it is unclear how it will be administered and how the occupancy requirement will be enforced, this Program represents the first time that TIF incentives would be targeted toward homebuyers in the City of Chicago.

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