Vacant Building Registries Lack Key Data, New Report Shows (Progress Illinois)

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.

The "Deciphering Blight" report looked at the wide–ranging data that 47 local governments in the Chicago six–county region currently collect through their vacant property registries.
 
According to the report, a majority of the local governments kept thorough data on the parties responsible for vacant buildings. And more than half kept track of a property’s unique identifier like a PIN number.
 
But more than half of the municipalities did not collect data on the nature of the vacancy, and many vacant building registries lacked other key information. 
 
For example, just six municipalities required information on when a building first became vacant, while only 13 vacant building registries asked whether a property was enclosed and secure, the report found.
 
“As municipalities consider strategies to address the vacant buildings problem, collection of accurate and comprehensive data should be a priority,” said Dory Rand, Woodstock's president, in a statement. “This report shows that some communities are missing opportunities to collect data that could enhance strategic planning and redevelopment decisions.”