Rep. Reick and Harvard Mayor Kelly Provide Update on IHDA Grant to Repurpose Abandoned Properties

Woodstock – The City of Harvard has made progress in utilizing a $100,000 grant received from the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to demolish nuisance and abandoned residential properties as part of IHDA’s Abandoned Residential Property Municipality Relief Program (APP). This grant was awarded in IHDA’s third round of grants for the APP program.

“For most families in McHenry County, their home is their largest and most important financial asset,” said Rep. Reick. “Abandoned properties in our communities put downward pressure on home values, which diminishes your ability to utilize the equity you have in your home. That hurts every family’s checkbook. It’s good to see that the IHDA grant is successfully enabling the City of Harvard to repurpose several abandoned properties for productive use, which will raise area values over time. With so many factors pushing down home values in our state, this grant provides much needed relief to homeowners in Harvard.”

The City of Harvard has seen sustained depressed property values since the housing collapse in 2008, and nuisance properties only exacerbate that problem. This grant will help alleviate the downward pressure on property values.

“Only recently have we begun to see housing pricing in Harvard begin to rise,” stated Harvard Mayor Michael Kelly. “This grant provided the funding necessary for the City to address 3 specific properties which have been abandoned for many years. The City did not seek to gain ownership as there were no appropriations to resolve the nuisances. Once the City was awarded the grant, the City began the legal process to gain ownership through the court system and was awarded title to the properties.  The grant will pay for the demolition and asbestos remediation for 2 of the properties. The third property is being sold as-is since the house is structurally sound and can be renovated. Once the other two homes have been demolished, the City will seek buyers who will utilize the properties as green space or other redevelopment opportunities. We are extremely thankful for Representative Reick’s help in securing this much-needed grant that enabled the City to address the blight these properties have been for our community.”

“I would like to thank Illinois Representative Steven Reick for assisting us to obtain the $100,000 grant through the IHDA, which awarded the City of Harvard the funds to remove distressed properties from our community,” said Anne Nutley, Code Enforcement Officer for the City of Harvard.

The IHDA website states “for every dollar spent to clean, green vacant properties, neighbors experience $224 in increase property value, and the community sees an additional $7.43 in tax revenue.” The IHDA website also states, with this program, they are “helping communities turn vacant and blighted properties into assets and renewing the neighborhoods for overall community revitalization and stabilization.” For more information on IHDA’s APP program, visit