Addressing Vacant Properties - Research

This is an image of keys over a blueprint for a house
July 7, 2016

This report summarizes some of the successes of the work of the organizations that participated in the Regional Housing Partnership (RHP), which was supported by the Chicago Community Trust.

This is the Title page from the report. It is of a dilapidated room.
March 31, 2016

This report examines data from the Chicago vacant building website, of which the vacant building registry is a part, and compares those data with vacant property address data from the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  This report also looks at extent to which the change to the City of Chicago vacant building registration requirements affected registrations overall and the income and racial composition of the census tracts in which the properties are located.

February 6, 2014

This fact sheet summarizes the Unresolved Foreclosures: Patterns of Zombie Properties in Cook County report, which examines the extent to which mortgage servicers are filing for foreclosure and then not pursuing the case to resolution in different types of communities in Cook County, Illinois. The report defines a zombie property as a property with a foreclosure filing that has not been resolved for more than three years. Because neither the borrower nor the servicer has clear control of the property, neither has an incentive to assume responsibility for the property. Zombie properties, therefore, are likely to threaten neighborhood stability by being poorly maintained or blighted, especially in lower-income neighborhoods, The report concludes with recommendations to reduce the negative impact of zombie properties on communities in Cook County.

January 24, 2014
This report examines the extent to which servicers are walking away from foreclosures in Cook County, Illinois, creating zombie properties, and how that practice may vary by the characteristics of the neighborhood in which the property is located.
June 24, 2013
This report documents the information local governments currently collect about vacant buildings and finds the data being collected vary widely among the municipalities, with significant gaps.
May 13, 2013
Presentation by Spencer Cowan on real estate trends on indicators such as foreclosures, vacant properties, population, and mortgage origination.
Vacant Building Ordinances
February 14, 2012
A summary of the provisions in the Cook County Vacant Buildings Ordinance and 2011 changes to the City of Chicago's Vacant Buildings Ordinance.
Troubled Foreclosed Properties
March 24, 2011
Findings and recommendations from a February 2011 briefing at which Woodstock Institute convened a group of key stakeholders at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to discuss solutions that would keep properties occupied, hold mortgage loan servicers accountable for their disposition of properties in the foreclosure process, and return vacant properties back to productive use.
January 12, 2011
The following report illustrates the relationship between foreclosures and vacant properties in the City of Chicago. It combines data from the City of Chicago on vacant and potentially vacant buildings with data on foreclosure filings, completed foreclosure auctions, and property transfers to better understand the number of vacant properties that have at some point been part of the foreclosure process.
September 29, 2009
Geoff Smith and Sarah Duda This report analyzed Chicago region foreclosure auction and property transfer data and found that vacant, lender-owned properties are heavily concentrated in African American communities, go unsold longer, and incur greater losses to the lender than similar properties in...