Council OKs single-family reconversion program in Aurora
By Stephanie Lulay email@example.com September 24, 2013 9:25PM
Updated: October 28, 2013 6:58AM
AURORA — Aldermen unanimously voted at City Council Tuesday night to revive a program that helps families remove apartment units from houses that were originally single-family homes.
Under the new program, the city will provide forgivable loans to homeowners to remove additional apartment units created in a structure where the home was originally built as a single-family residence. The goal of the program is to reduce density and traffic congestion in neighborhoods, according to Dan Barriero, city chief of community services.
Under the new rules, the city will give up to $30,000 of assistance, depending on the number of units in the home.
The new program, called the Single Family Residential Restoration Program, offers a lower per-unit subsidy than the Reconversion Inventive Program, founded in 1994. Under the previous program, homeowners could receive up to $75,000 in funding.
The new rules also require that the home be owner-occupied.
City staff will hold a first competitive round for funds in October, said Jeff McLaughlin, head of the city’s neighborhood redevelopment division. A second round is planned for February 2014, and about 45 homeowners are now on the waiting list for program funding.
The original program has been dormant due to staff reductions since 2010. Barriero said the city invested $5 million into the previous program, that resulted in the reduction of 222 units.
“It has had a great impact, it is very popular and a lot of people are still interested in the program,” he said.
In the 1950s, the city changed zoning ordinances, allowing large single-family homes to be converted into multi-unit homes, Mayor Tom Weisner said Tuesday night.
“That may or may not have been a wise policy at the time, but as time has gone by, there’s definitely an issue in terms of with more units, come more people, more cars, more parking issues,” Weisner said.