HOUSING COMMITTEE August 26, 2015
ATTENDEES: Dan Culkin, Alan Nudo, Chief Farber, Herm Fogal, Gary Crane, Ken Turner,
Mike Loschen, Valerie Laney as recording secretary.
Dan opened the meeting by providing the requested information from the July meeting; which was a review of Single Family Non-Owner Occupied homes = 508 (currently)
Valerie gave a summary of the following registered residential units:
§ Total Registered RENTAL UNITS = 2524
§ Total Registered OWNER-OCCUPIED UNITS = 2736
§ Total Residential Units = 5422
It should be noted that the Total Residential Units (5422) includes (162) currently registered Vacant Units.
The Committee wanted to know, what is the Median Income Level and also, what is the Median Age here in Rantoul? According to the Census Bureau, the Median Income Level is $37,728 and the Median Age could not be determined.
Herm – reported that 71 houses sold in 2015 for an average of $62,500. The overall value of houses sold was $68 - $72. The average list price was $79,000. This pricing has remained consistent for 8 to 10 years. Currently there are 22 sales pending and only 2 REO’s. The average is 18-19 sales.
BENEFIT TO THE VILLAGE
§ Improve property taxes and increase value.
§ Property Tax Assessment increases over time.
HOW WOULD THE VILLAGE OBTAIN OWNERSHIP OR HELP PEOPLE OBTAIN
§ Offer Buyer Incentives for Single Family Owner-Occupied Properties.
§ Incentive can be assisted by Village funds. (No handouts)
§ Buyer must obtain their own financing. (Home Loan through the bank)
§ Buyer must reside in the home for 5 years. (Utility history records can be checked for accountability)
§ Offer interest free loan for 3 yrs.
§ Offer incentives on Rehab property
§ Seed Fund - $100,000 (this can be recouped with the additional property taxes)
§ Owners obtain an approved Loan to purchase or to improve the Property
§ Agree to an Inspection by the Village. Any violations must be completed by closing.
§ Agree to a new property assessment in 5 yrs. (reassessments are 1yr. behind per Gary)
§ Owners get a “great buy” on the house
§ Equity is building for as long as they live there
§ This concept grows the tax base in the community
§ “Improves” the caliber of occupants vs. the slum lords
All agreed that there is a need for “High End” and not just “Low End” rental properties.
A comment was made re: the companies, banks that serve in-between the REO Investors vs. companies like Safeguard who maintain responsibility for the property until the new owner can take possession.
Alan Nudo gave an example about Investors opting for Section 8 because they are guaranteed a good return on their income. He also offered the following suggestions regarding Owner-Occupied properties and the Rental Inspection Program:
§ Closings must have an Inspection and any violations must be in compliance before the sale is complete. (homes built prior to 1970’s)
§ Post a “PASSING CODE” Announcement in the Classified Ads/Rental Property Section of the newspapers for properties that are continually in compliance.
Gary Crane opposed the Inspection on every home suggestion! He felt that it would be a detriment to individuals and that it is not a function of government. However, he does agree with holding inspections for rental properties and REO’s.
Gary and Herm shared that many times, Home Inspections are deal killers. They are negotiated between parties. Majoring on the minor and are not up on “codes” especially for installation, venting, etc. Property Maintenance codes do not coincide with the Home Inspector’s Report. However, some Inspections are required before closing as Ken Turner shared.
Discussion concluded: REO’s and Rental Inspections on homes sold – not on ALL homes.
REO’s – should give the Village the right to inspect.
Gary shared that Rantoul residential property is comparable to Rankin property
§ Low Nature of Value
Herm shared that Freddie Mac – doesn’t provide for repairs, but will reimburse.
OTHER HOUSING ISSUES
Habitat for Humanity - Dan suggested using Habitat for in fills. He also informed the committee, that in the past, Habitat received very little support from churches and industrial business in this community.
Senior Housing - Housing Authority of Champaign County - Senior Housing is encouraged.
Twin Lakes Senior Villas - 50 person wait list. Seeking the opportunity to build more, but
the time frame to apply has been extended out due to State Grant regulations.
Gary asked if there are any other sources for providing senior housing? Private owners are always better than public. Whoever it is, they need to be on the tax rolls! It’s lucrative to have new housing on the tax rolls.
Gary also asked about the old base property leases, do they pay taxes? Yes. Dan thought it was based on the amount of leases each year on each property.
Discussion on Section 8 Housing
The question came up - can Section 8 housing be restricted?
Currently, there are approximately 120 –Section 8 units scattered throughout Rantoul.
It has been told that Champaign County is looking for Section 8 Housing, because they are closing housing in North Champaign. Also, Vermillion County, over the next 5 years will be shutting down housing on the west side of Danville. This information does raise some concern.
Take Away from This Meeting
vDiversity of Housing
vAll Scale of Housing
Recommendations – More Senior Housing
Limit to 1 to 2 bedroom units or a den and a bedroom
vNeed for Executive type Housing
Where to build them?
vPoor Grading of Schools
vAge of Housing
vOverabundance of Rental Properties
All of this affects retail, support vs. lack of support. How does it turn around?
Let it begin with the REO’s
Assessor viewpoint - Rantoul has a spending problem – 2 school referendums = 67%
of the tax base.
Dan - The request to build zero lot lines was DENIED by Zoning Board of Appeals for Zoning Variance.
All committee members agreed that it’s good to have Village entities working together for improvement.
Herm suggested that a Public Relations organization be retained for the Village.
Gary asked about the new approach to teaching – will it bring higher test scores or is a just about income? Alan is meeting with David Foote – he’ll ask him and report at the next meeting.