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    1.    
City Council Work Session
Meeting Date: 11/06/2019  
Subject:    Update on Front Door Incentive Program
Submitted For: Kristin DeGrande From: Grant Fernelius, Community Development Director

INTRODUCTION
In March of this year, the Coon Rapids Home Improvement Foundation (CRHIF, formerly known as the Mortgage Assistance Foundation) authorized a new incentive program called Front Door.  The program was designed to encourage home improvements that would have curb appeal and boost the aesthetics of homes from the street.  It was extremely successful and this past October the CRHIF board met to review program results and discuss additional funding for 2020.  Staff thought it would be helpful to provide Council with a similar update.
DISCUSSION
The Front Door Grant Program was officially kicked off as a pilot program to increase curb appeal in Coon Rapids at the North Suburban Home Show in March 2019.  By the end of April, all of the initial $100,000 was exhausted.  A total of 37 grants were made.  In May, the CRMAF/CRHIF met and decided to allocate an additional $150,000 to the program to be awarded through a lottery drawing.  Through the lottery, an additional 50 recipients were selected to continue in the process of receiving a grant.  Of those 50, 14 homeowners ended up withdrawing their application due mostly to lack of their own funds. There were some recipients who chose to sell their homes instead of make improvements, some who had trouble obtaining bids from contractors, and some whose projects did not meet the minimum requirements.  In all, there were a total of 73 recipients in the first year of the Front Door Grant Program, $188,080.21 worth of grants awarded, and a total of $1,049,114.83 worth of exterior improvements completed.  This means that there was an average project size of $14,344 and an average grant size of $2,576.  This was a program that received a lot of attention and created just as much, if not more, excitement within the community.

In mid-October the CRHIF approved an additional round of funding for 2020.  The program will operate in much the same way as this year (i.e. lottery system).  Attached are some survey results from people who both applied for grants and received funds, as well as those who did not.  For the most part the program seems to have been well-received and achieved good results.  Staff will provide a short presentation at the work session on November 6th.
 
RECOMMENDATION
This item is for informational purposes and no action is needed at this time.

Attachments
Recipient Survey
Applicant Survey (Not Funded)
Front Door Application

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