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Financial Help for Homeowners
Finding Financial Help for Homeowners
Housing assistance programs and property tax exemptions available to homeowners in Kane County.

Housing Rehabilitation Program
The Housing Rehabilitation Program helps homeowners maintain their homes by providing funds to correct code violations and eliminate substandard living conditions. The program provides up to $20,000 in assistance in the form of a zero-interest, deferred-payment loan. No payments are due until the home is sold, the title is transferred, or the home is no longer used as the homeowner’s principal residence. When any of these events occur, the loan is repaid. The program also provides homeowners up to $10,000 in assistance as a grant to address lead-based paint hazards. To qualify for the Housing Rehabilitation Program, homeowners must live in the Kane-Elgin Consortium Area, meet federal income limits (see table below), and have sufficient equity to cover the amount of the loan. For more information, call Community Contacts at 847-697-8800 or visit their website.

Income Limits for Housing Rehabilitation Program
Family Size
Income Limit
1 $42,000
2 $48,000
3 $54,250
4 $60,300
5 $65,100
6 $69,950
7 $74,750
8 $79,600

The Kane-Elgin Consortium Area does not include the municipalities of Algonquin, Aurora, and Montgomery. Algonquin homeowners should contact the McHenry County Housing Authority at 815-338-7752. Aurora homeowners should contact the City of Aurora’s Division of Neighborhood Redevelopment at 630-264-3060. Rehabilitation assistance is not available to homeowners in the Village of Montgomery at this time.

Emergency Repair Program
The Emergency Repair Program helps homeowners who are facing a crisis situation. The program can assist with any mechanical, electrical, structural, or plumbing issues that undermines the integrity of the home or the safety of its occupants. Work covered by homeowners insurance, however, is not eligible. The program provides up to $10,000 in assistance in the form of a zero-interest, deferred-payment loan. No payments are due until the home is sold, the title is transferred, or the home is no longer used as the homeowner’s principal residence. When any of these events occur, the loan is repaid. To qualify for the Emergency Repair Program, homeowners must live in the Kane County Community Development Program Area, meet federal income limits (see table above), and have sufficient equity to cover the amount of the loan. For more information, call Community Contacts at 847-697-8800 or visit their website.

The Kane County Community Development Program Area does not include the municipalities of Algonquin, Aurora, Elgin, or Montgomery. Here is the contact information for the excluded municipalities:
  • Algonquin homeowners should contact the McHenry County Housing Authority at 815-338-7752.
  • Aurora homeowners should contact the City of Aurora’s Division of Neighborhood Redevelopment at 630-264-3060.
  • Elgin homeowners should contact the Elgin Community Development Department at 847-931-5910.

Emergency repair assistance is not available to homeowners in the Village of Montgomery at this time.

First-Time Homebuyer Program
The First-Time Homebuyer Program helps make the dream of homeownership a reality. The program provides up to $10,000 in down-payment and closing-cost assistance to first-time homebuyers in the form of a zero-interest, deferred-payment loan. No payments are due until the home is sold, the title is transferred, or the home is no longer used as the homebuyer’s principal residence. When any of these events occur, the loan is repaid. To qualify for the program, homebuyers must have either lived (or worked full-time) in the Kane-Elgin Consortium Area for at least one year. They must also meet federal income limits (see table above), complete a free homebuyer education course, and have a downpayment of at least 1% of the purchase price of the home they wish to purchase. All homes, townhomes, and condominiums purchased under the program must pass both a general inspection and a lead-based-paint inspection to ensure the housing unit meets housing quality standards. For more information, call Neighborhood Housing Services of the Fox Valley at 847-695-0399 or go to their website.

The Kane-Elgin Consortium Area does not include the municipalities of Algonquin, Aurora, and Montgomery. Here is the contact information for the excluded municipalities:
  • Algonquin homebuyers should contact the Corporation for Affordable Homes of McHenry County at 815-206-5805.
  • Aurora homebuyers should contact the City of Aurora’s Division of Neighborhood Redevelopment at 630-264-3060.
  • Montgomery homebuyers should contact the Village of Montgomery at 630-896-0791.

Foreclosure Prevention Counseling

Kane County homeowners facing the prospect of defaulting on their mortgage may benefit from foreclosure prevention counseling. Depending on the situation, certified counselors can assist homeowners in establishing repayment plans, modifying the terms of their mortgage, or refinancing altogether (i.e., adjustable-rate to fixed-rate mortgage). Free, confidential, one-on-one counseling services are available to all Kane County households, regardless of income. In northern Kane County, contact Neighborhood Housing Services of the Fox Valley at 847-695-0399 or visit their website. In southern Kane County, contact Joseph Corporation at 630-906-9400 or visit their website.

Homeowner & Senior Citizen Exemptions
Exemptions reduce the Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of a property by a specific amount; the actual tax savings depends upon the tax rate for a specific property. The most common exemptions for homeowners are described below. If you have further questions, please contact the Kane County Assessment Office at 630-208-3818.

General Homestead Exemption
The General Homestead Exemption reduces the EAV by the amount of the exemption. For the 2007 tax assessment year, the reduction is $5,000. This will increase to $5,500 for 2008, and $6,000 in 2009. The property must be the principal residence of the owner. Exemptions may also be available for cooperatives and qualified life-care facilities. You must apply for the exemption with the County Assessment Office. Applications are available online or you can call 630-208-3818 and one will be mailed to you.

Home Improvement Exemption
The Home Improvement Exemption reduces the EAV attributable to the improvement for four years based on the Fair Cash Value (up to $75,000) of the improvement. The property must be the principal residence of the owner and have new improvements (such as an addition, patio, or deck) that increase the value of the property. You need not file an application. Your township assessor will certify the amount to the County Assessment Office. If you have any questions, contact your township assessor:

Senior Citizen Exemption

The Senior Citizen Exemption reduces the EAV by the amount of the exemption. For the 2007 tax assessment year, the reduction is $3,500. This will increase to $4,000 for 2008. The property must be the principal residence of the owner, who must be age 65 or older by December 31 of the tax assessment year. Exemptions may also be available for cooperatives and qualified life-care facilities. You must apply for the exemption with the County Assessment Office. You can fill out an application online or you can call 630-208-3818 and one will be mailed to you. After the initial application is approved, you will be mailed a renewal form each subsequent year.

Other Exemptions
The Returning Veterans’ Exemption is a $5,000 reduction in EAV for veteran homeowners in the year they return from an armed conflict. The Disabled Veterans’ Standard Exemption is a reduction in EAV up to $5,000 for veteran homeowners with service-connected disabilities. The Disabled Veterans’ Exemption is a reduction in EAV up to $70,000 for veteran homeowners with service-connected disabilities who require Specially Adapted Housing (SAH). The Disabled Persons’ Exemption is a $2,000 reduction in EAV for disabled homeowners. Contact the County Assessment Office at 630-208-3818 for more information on these exemptions.

Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program
The Senior Citizen Real Estate Tax Deferral Program provides tax relief for qualified senior citizens age 65 and over with a total household income of not more than $50,000 per year. The program allows them to defer all or part of their property taxes and special assessment payments on their principal residence. The deferral is similar to a loan against the property’s market value. Deferred amounts are borrowed from the state, which pays the tax bill. A six percent simple interest rate is charged on the deferred amount and a lien is filed on the property. Interest is charged for each year that the deferred amount is carried. Deferred amounts must be repaid within one year of the taxpayer’s death or 90 days after the property is sold, transferred, or otherwise no longer qualifies for the program. For more information, or to apply for the program, call the Office of the Kane County Treasurer at 630-232-3565 or go to their website.

Senior Assessment Freeze
The Senior Assessment Freeze effectively freezes your assessment at a base year causing your net assessment not to increase. This does not freeze your taxes, only your assessment. The property must be the principal residence of the owner for the beginning of two consecutive years, and the owner must be age 65 or older by December 31 of the tax assessment year and meet certain household income requirements. The maximum household income for this exemption is $50,000 in the 2007 tax assessment year, increasing to $55,000 in 2008. You must apply for the exemption with the County Assessment Office. Applications are available online or you can call 630-208-3818 and one will be mailed to you. After the initial application is approved, you will be mailed a renewal form each subsequent year.

Historic Residence Assessment Freeze
The Historic Residence Assessment Freeze Program effectively freezes the assessed valuation of an owner-occupied certified historic residence that has been rehabilitated according to historic preservation standards. The assessed valuation is frozen for eight years at the pre-rehabilitation level, then increased to market level over a period of four years. For more information, contact the Kane County Historic Preservation Planner at 630-208-5347.

Circuit Breaker Tax Grant
The Circuit Breaker Tax Grant Program provides grants to income-eligible senior citizens age 65 and over, and persons with disabilities, to help them reduce the impact of property taxes. Grant amounts are based on a formula using the amount of property tax or mobile home tax for their place of residence and total income. Grants for renters and nursing, retirement or shelter care home residents is figured using a percentage of the amount paid in rent or nursing home charges. For more information, or to apply for the program, call the Illinois Department on Aging at 800-624-2459 (be sure to have your Social Security Number handy when you call) or go to their website.