By Micah Maidenberg
February 11, 2011
As usual, there's a lot to pick through in the Woodstock Institute's latest analysis (PDF) of home foreclosure activity in greater Chicagoland. One trend that stuck out during a review of the new data: there was a "dramatic" increase of more than 25 percent in completed foreclosure auctions in the six-county Chicago region between 2009 and last year, to 30,981 properties. More than 95 percent of these structures are real estate owned and likely vacant, according to Woodstock. Suburban Cook County saw substantial increases in completed auctions. In Chicago that number jumped by 19.9 percent between '09 and '10.
As Progress Illinois documented on one West Side block, such properties pose safety and health hazards to neighbors. They drive down property values, damaging household wealth. Some foreclosed-home servicers are just walking away from properties they've taken into foreclosure proceedings, leaving them to decay.
While Carol Moseley Braun called for a foreclosure moratorium, rehabbing foreclosed properties, and holding banks accountable for the condition of empty homes they now own earlier this week and Miguel del Valle has talked about the issue, there hasn't been much discussion about foreclosures during Chicago's mayoral campaign.