Cook County Land Bank Gets Underway (Chicago Magazine)

Vacant foreclosed properties dot the map of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs. So think of the new Cook County land bank as housing’s Georges Seurat; it’s trying to arrange all those individual dots into something new and better (much as the pointillist painter did with A Sunday on La Grand Jatte).

According to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, the land bank will attack the vacant property issue on a regional level, not one empty home at a time. That’s in part because of the enormous size of the problem. “What’s really troubling is that 10 percent of housing units in Cook County are vacant, and 85,000 [more] foreclosure cases are pending in circuit court,” Preckwinkle said February 7 at a Metropolitan Planning Council event.

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