Foreclosures on multi-family
buildings are clearly a problem, and on an even larger scale than suggested in a recent Chicago Tribune
Hidden Victims,” June 8, 2008).
Recent research by the
Woodstock Institute shows that in 2007 alone, over 35 percent of the
foreclosures in the City of
Unfortunately, foreclosures on
rental buildings are not evenly distributed across the city, but rather
concentrated in certain neighborhoods, particularly in lower-income and minority
Keeping these units in service makes good sense, not just in a short term effort to stem the neighborhood costs of mounting foreclosures, but as part of a coordinated, long term strategy to keep thousands of affordable apartments available for working families. In a regional effort to reverse the loss of affordable multi-family properties, the Preservation Compact, led by the Urban Land Institute, has launched a comprehensive Rental Housing Action Plan for the region, designed to preserve and improve 75,000 existing affordable rental homes by 2020 that might otherwise be lost to foreclosure, condo conversion, or rent increases.
As the number of foreclosures on
small multifamily properties grows, these initiatives and others like them need
to be in place to help municipal governments, non-profit agencies, and the
private sector work together and keep these units active in the rental market.
Without such vehicles, large inventories of potentially usable buildings will
remain vacant, and mounting foreclosures will continue to reverse decades of
hard work to keep the