vacant properties

Improving data collection on vacant buildings in the Chicago area

Written by Dan Fair on June 25, 2013 - 1:46pm

Before you can bring great redevelopment ideas to fruition, you need to know where vacant buildings are, who owns them, and what condition they’re in.

We set out to understand gaps in vacant buildings data collection in a new report released today. The report, Deciphering Blight: Vacant Buildings Data Collection in the Chicago Six County Region, recommends actions municipalities can take to improve and standardize their data collection.

Deciphering Blight: Vacant Buildings Data Collection in the Chicago Six County Region

The report also makes several recommendations on data collection practices that would allow municipalities to better understand the scope of the vacant buildings problem in their communities, inform strategies for property redevelopment and reuse, and keep track of responsible parties for the vacant properties:

City Council takes steps to hold mortgage servicers accountable on vacant homes

The ordinance, introduced by Ald. Pat Dowell and supported by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, requires any entity with a financial interest in the property to maintain a vacant home up to standards that promote neighborhood security and livability. Vacant homes are a problem that can weigh down an entire community by attracting crime and vandalism, bringing down property values, and draining public resources.

BofA to donate abandoned homes to Chicago nonprofit for rehab and demolition

"The initiative is part of a new Cook County Circuit Court call that intends to move confirmed abandoned properties through the foreclosure process and stabilize neighborhoods affected by blight. BofA began a similar program in Detroit, helping to identify 100 vacant properties for demolition. The bank will contribute to the cost of the operations.”

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