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Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Applications for the Voluntary Flood-Prone Property Acquisition Program have been temporarily closed to new applicants

How to apply


Review the program requirements


Submit an application

Applications must be submitted by January 28, 2024.

Submit an application

Review, Feedback, Selection: Our team will review your application and contact you with any questions and feedback. A tracking number will be assigned to reference your project. Our team anticipates notifying selected applicants by March 2024.

Questions: If you have any questions on how to apply to this program or have difficulty with the online form, please contact

Voluntary acquisitions in the city of Northlake

The MWRD partnered with Northlake to acquire several properties located in the floodplain. The properties were converted to open-space, providing stormwater benefits to the nearby area.

About the program

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) can help local government organizations pay for the voluntary acquisition of flood-prone property in Cook County.

Some homes located within the floodplain sustain repetitive damage from multiple flood events. The FPPA program helps local municipalities acquire these properties in flood-prone areas from willing sellers and restore the property to green space that can better manage stormwater.

Regularly, the MWRD reviews applications and selects projects for partnerships. The selected partner is responsible for the overall acquisition and demolition of the flood-prone property, converting the parcel to permanent open space for public use, and long-term maintenance of the parcel.

Program requirements


Who can apply?

Public entities that can enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the MWRD. This includes municipalities, townships, and other government organizations.

What voluntary acquisitions are eligible?

How does MWRD provide funding assistance?

  • Local sponsorship assistance     
    The MWRD reviews and sponsors applications from local governments applying to the federal acquisition program, which is run locally by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. The MWRD provides reimbursement towards the applicant’s share of the property’s purchase price.
  • Local government application     
    MWRD reviews and selects applications directly from local governments for flood-prone structures within their jurisdiction, reimbursing a percentage of the property’s purchase price.

How can funding be used?

MWRD funding can only be used to reimburse the purchase price of the flood-prone property.

Selected applicants are responsible for all remaining costs associated with the acquisition. The following costs cannot be reimbursed:

  • All costs associated with the real estate closing, including appraisals, legal fees, title fees, and taxes;
  • Construction and demolition costs on the purchased property including any federal and state permit fees and conversion to open-space;
  • Operations, maintenance, and other costs related to long term ownership of the acquired parcels.

The reimbursement amount to be provided to selected acquisitions is based on the needs of the community and availability of funding. Reimbursements are made via an IGA Reimbursement Form and must be submitted within 90 days after acquisition. Supplemental documentation is required for reimbursement.

General partnership (IGA) requirements

Selected applicants, or “partners”, will enter into an IGA with the MWRD. These standard requirements are applicable to all acquisitions and will be included in the draft IGA.

Property acquisition, construction, demolition, conversion to open-space, and maintenance
Partners are responsible for the acquisition of the property, demolition of structures, conversion of the parcel to public open-space, and maintenance including:

  • Obtaining appraisals,
  • Making offers to the property owners,
  • Acquiring and closing on the property,
  • Obtaining all federal and state permits necessary for the project,
  • Demolishing of any structures and utilities per local ordinances,
  • Grading, seeding and restoration of the parcel, and
  • Long-term ownership and maintenance of the of the parcel including any public improvements compatible with open space use.

Certified appraisals & purchase price
Partners are responsible for obtaining two appraisals from certified real estate appraisers. These appraisers must be pre-approved by the MWRD.

The purchase price of the property will be based on the appraised values. Property owners have thirty days from the offer date to accept.

Closing documentation, warranty deed and deed restriction
Partners must provide the following documentation:

  • Recorded warranty deed consistent with MWRD's Model Deed Restriction⧉,
  • Affidavit of Title, Title insurance policy, GAP Undertaking (as needed), ALTA Statements, and
  • Closing statement and/or fully executed HUD statement for the acquired parcels.

Long term ownership & maintenance
Partners are responsible for routinely maintaining the parcels as permanent public, open space including:

  • Routine maintenance of vegetation and any other public improvements compatible with public, open space use,
  • No structures or features have been erected or built on site that is inconsistent with open space use and the MWRD's Model Deed Restriction⧉,
  • Performing inspections every three years and preparing an inspection report for review by the MWRD, and
  • The MWRD will be allowed access to the project site to perform its own inspection.

How are applications evaluated?

The MWRD evaluates each application based on specific metrics, which include but are not limited to:

  • Funding sources, requested cost share from the MWRD, and the cost-benefit analysis of the acquisitions,
  • The project’s acquisition schedule,
  • Economic needs of the community and previous assistance received from the MWRD; and
  • Compliance with federal, state, and local ordinances, including all MWRD ordinances.

Reference documents

Please visit the partnership program reference documents webpage to review the program materials and forms.

If you have any questions regarding this program and how to apply, please contact