Editor's note: The amount of investments made in the city through the Great Homes program shown during a City Council meeting was incorrect, and it's been updated to reflect the correct investment.

Homeowners in Sugar Land can apply for rebates for their exterior home improvements when application for city’s Great Homes Update Program reopens Feb. 1.

In a nutshell

Sugar Land City Council voted in September to renew the city’s Great Homes Update Program after its pilot year. In its second year, city officials allocated an additional $500,000 to provide reimbursements to homeowners wanting to revitalize their home’s exterior, said Jonathan Soriano, Sugar Land’s community development strategist.

Soriano called the program’s first year an “outstanding success,” as the update program ran out of its initial $500,000 funding four months after its launch.

"This program has really shown our City Council's commitment to trailblazing, ... because we're really taking a large step to encourage residential reinvestment and offering just unique world-class services to our residents," he said.

The backstory

In an effort to revitalize the city’s older homes, city officials launched the Great Homes program in February 2023, which included the Great Homes Update Program and Great Homes Design Program. Both programs offer residents rebates for exterior home work, but they pay for different parts of the renovation process.
  • Great Homes Update Program: Participants may be eligible to up to a $10,000 reimbursement for a portion of renovation costs.
  • Great Homes Design Program: A $500 voucher is awarded to program participants to get an exterior home design done at a discounted cost.
To be eligible, applicants must own a single-family home within city limits, Soriano said. Any work that’s been started, signed or paid for will not be eligible for the program, he said.

Some changes to the Great Homes Update Program since it launched are new eligible projects, such as front door and gutter replacements, he said. The threshold to receive 25% reimbursement changed to homes built in 1993 or before and homes with a market home value less than $395,855, according to a presentation Soriano gave to City Council in September.

By the numbers

In its first year, the Great Homes Update Program contributed to home renovations for hundreds of applicants.
  • More than 200 applicants were approved for the update program. ​​
  • More than $2.3 million in residential improvements were made throughout the city, city officials said in an email.
"We learned through these programs that there's a hunger and there's a desire for Sugar Land homeowners to just improve their older homes and really just reinvest," he said.

One more thing

Limited funding remains in the city’s $120,000 Great Homes Design Program. To encourage more use of the design program, applicants who use a design from the Great Homes Design Program in the Great Homes Update Program application will be eligible for an additional 2% reimbursement incentive, Soriano said.

“The intent of that [design] program is to really help inspire homeowners to elevate their improvements, because a lot of folks are seeing that revisioned exterior home design and they're implementing those improvements,” he said. “You don't have to wait for that one—that one's open now, and it will remain open until we run out of home designs.”