Addressing Vacant Properties - Press

January 23, 2015

By Alana Semuels 

CHICAGO—When he moved back to Chicago after being away for 15 years, Maurice Samuels, 40, never thought he’d live in Woodlawn. He grew up in the area on the South Side of Chicago, and remembered its deterioration well. When he left in his twenties, Woodlawn "used to be run down," he said. There were vacant homes and walking around, he said, you didn't feel safe.

April 9, 2014

Cook County is currently home to 55,000 vacant properties with 33,000 of them in Chicago alone.

February 24, 2014
Properties that sit deteriorating in foreclosure limbo are plaguing New York’s neighborhoods.
February 24, 2014
Properties that sit deteriorating in foreclosure limbo are plaguing New York neighborhoods. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says he plans to introduce legislation to get banks and mortgagees to better maintain the vacant properties.
February 19, 2014
From 2008 to 2010, 8.7% of foreclosures filed in Cook County, Illinois, were zombie foreclosures, accruing to more than 5,800 zombie properties in the city of Chicago. But this is just the beginning.
February 14, 2014

A group of community organizers worked from the end of 2012 into the spring of 2013 cleaning out an abandoned two-flat at 4824 W. Van Buren St.

February 12, 2014
As the Chicago area struggles to emerge from the foreclosure crisis, a growing problem poses a serious challenge to the housing recovery: zombie properties.
February 7, 2014
It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “In New Jersey, foreclosure filings — which include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — rose 44 percent last year, RealtyTrac said. Atlantic County was up 45 percent, Cumberland County 38 percent and...
February 3, 2014
January 31, 2014
Thousands of Cook County residents are being haunted by their former homes. A recent study from the Woodstock Institute shows there are more than 11,700 “zombie properties,” or unresolved foreclosures, in the area, including 5,800 in Chicago.
January 28, 2014
Undead properties plague Cook County Illinois
January 22, 2014
Lower-income areas have the highest number of affected properties, study says
December 2, 2013

Every six months, Dave McDowell rounds up a group of volunteers, hands them legal pads and pens, and sends them out to log the addresses of every vacant property they can find within a roughly three-square-mile area on Chicago’s Southwest Side.

September 12, 2013
Forty years ago Aaron and Sylvia Scheinfeld decided to take action since they were unhappy with redlining, predatory lending, and inequality in access to credit and financial services that plagued the Chicago region.
September 4, 2013
A federal court decision dealt a serious blow last week to Chicago's ability to revitalize communities hit hard by the foreclosure crisis.
September 4, 2013
The Cook County Land Bank is nearly open for business, and if it works, assumptions about the power of local governments to combat urban blight might have to change.
September 4, 2013
Last week, on the same day that much of the country paused to measure the distance we’ve come in the fifty years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have A Dream” speech, a Chicago theatre company opened a new production of A Raisin in the Sun, the groundbreaking play from a few years before King’s speech.
Tags: foreclosures
September 3, 2013
Helene Pearson’s belief in homeownership was shattered in Roseland, the mostly black Chicago neighborhood where President Barack Obama got his start as a community organizer.
August 27, 2013
Federal ruling says empty properties backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are exempt from city's rule
August 27, 2013
A federal judge has ruled Chicago’s vacant building ordinance no longer applies to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as mortgagees. This decision comes as the city continues to struggle with thousands of foreclosed homes.
August 23, 2013

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “A five-bedroom house in Las Vegas sold in mid-July for $499,000, double the price it went for three months ago. In Phoenix, a similar house sold this month for $600,000, gaining $273,000 since March. 

July 25, 2013
Vacant and foreclosed properties in Madison are likely to get a facelift in coming months.The City Council recently approved an ordinance to require financial institutions to inspect, secure and maintain abandoned properties. The measure will require banks, lenders and other financial...
July 18, 2013
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced Tuesday that she will dole out $70 million to several Illinois communities hindered by the nation’s ongoing foreclosure crisis.The funds, made available by a $25 billion national settlement with five mortgage...
July 1, 2013

Local municipalities should ramp up vacant–building data collection to help address a problem that continues to ravage Chicago–area communities due to the foreclosure crisis, according to a new report from the Woodstock Institute.

June 27, 2013

Local municipalities should collect more data about vacant buildings to better tackle a problem that has damaged neighborhoods across the region since the housing crash, a new report argues.

May 23, 2013
The last thing many Chicago neighborhoods need is another abandoned building. Now that Chicago Public Schools is officially closing 50 schools, that means 42 buildings will be shuttered in June. Many dot areas of the city that are already grappling with poverty and seeking economic development...