News Articles

Wait, did you just say you WAIVED all the taxes?

By Rooted In Chicago, Chicago Now | August 13th, 2017
Ever notice a nice-looking house or building which has been vacant for years and no one seems to know why?  You might assume that even though the outside of the structure is attractive, surely the inside must be a wreck (busted pipes, moldy walls, nests of raccoons and possums swapping stories about the good old days, etc).  Surprisingly, this is often not the case.  If structure has been winterized and properly sealed up to keep out the elements, it can sometimes sit vacant for years while experiencing only an insignificant amount of interior damage.
Did you know […]

By |August 15th, 2017|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off

Land Banks Helping Rebuild From Legacy of Foreclosure

By Brett Widness, Urban Land Institute | August 9th, 2017
For more than a decade, the brick “two-flat” on the 900 block of North Drake Avenue on Chicago’s West Side had been vacant. During the housing boom, a contractor began converting the building, a two-story detached home with two separate apartments and a basement, into a three-unit condominium, with plans to develop the basement level into a garden unit. But the job was never finished, the property was abandoned, and the condo units fell into foreclosure.
Neighbors said the property became a hangout for heroin addicts, evidenced by the needles strewn in […]

By |August 9th, 2017|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off

Why Black Homeownership Rates Lag Even As The Housing Market Recovers

By Corilyn Shropshire, Chicago Tribune | July 21st, 2017
A decade after the housing crash destroyed the American Dream for millions of homeowners, black homeownership rates have dropped to levels not seen since the 1960s, hobbling African-Americans’ efforts to build their wealth.
Nationally, only 42.2 percent of blacks owned homes in 2016, compared with 71.9 percent of whites, according to a new report by Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.
And in Chicago, the gap between black and white homeownership rates is even more extreme. Only 38.9 percent of African-Americans owned homes in the Chicago area in 2015, compared with 74 percent of whites. […]

By |July 25th, 2017|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off

Hoping for ‘adrenaline boost’ in flagging neighborhoods, Cook County selling more than 4,000 vacant lots

By Corilyn Shropshire, Chicago Tribune | February 2nd, 2017
Aiming to curb Chicago’s vacant lot epidemic, the Cook County Land Bank Authority has made more than 4,000 once tax-delinquent vacant lots available for sale.
The 4,437 properties are available in 22 community areas, primarily on Chicago’s West and South sides and in 12 west and south suburbs, for $3,000 to $5,000. Many of the lots have sat vacant for a decade or more, and are among 8,000 tax-delinquent properties the land bank aims to sell to local developers, not-for-profits, block clubs and community organizations to help revive neighborhoods hit by the foreclosure crisis […]

By |February 2nd, 2017|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off

Land Bank Wants to Sell More than 4,400 Vacant Lots

By Dennis Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business | January 30th, 2017
More than 4,400 vacant lots in Chicago and the suburbs are going up for sale in an effort to attract development to areas that need it.
With the new offering of vacant lots to be announced today, “we’re trying to speed up the process of empty land being put back to use,” said Bridget Gainer, a Cook County commissioner who chairs the four-year-old Cook County Land Bank.
Until now, the land bank had been selling only vacant homes, to rehabbers or families who fix them up for their own use. The land bank […]

By |January 30th, 2017|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off

Resurrecting Chicago, block By block: Another 1,000 homes in 2017? Maybe more?

Chicago Tribune Editorial Board | December 23rd, 2016
Outsiders like to define Chicago with convenient, obvious imagery. Obama and Capone. The Cubs and Ditka. The Daleys and the Blues Brothers. We know, however, what the genome of our city is. Belmont Cragin and Bronzeville. Avondale and Avalon Park. Roscoe Village and Roseland. The patchwork of bungalows, graystones and two-flats, its schools and corner grocery stores, gives the city its defining contours.
So, to fix a Chicago that’s deteriorating in some places and emptying out in others, you’ve got to fix its neighborhoods. Block by block, house by house. That’s how you seed real […]

By |January 3rd, 2017|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off

Cook County Housing Platform Celebrates Milestone

By Lisa Fielding, CBS Chicago | November 29th, 2016
The Cook County Land Bank was established in 2014 as a result of the financial crisis.
“It’s meant to address one thing that is so important. ‘How do you make sure neighborhoods are sustainable?’” said Bridget Gainer, Cook County Commissioner, who spearheaded the program. “Right after the financial crisis, we started to see this spike in foreclosures and the foreclosures, because they were so many of them, lead to longer and longer turnarounds in court which lead to more vacant homes.”
“The acquisition process for housing is tough. You really want to figure out […]

By |December 6th, 2016|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off

Land Bank’s Foreclosure Sales Helping Stabilize Neighborhoods

By Dennis Rodkin, Crain’s Chicago Business | November 22,  2016
A Cinderella story is playing on 101st Street in the city’s Washington Heights neighborhood, and there are more than 200 others like it scattered around the city and suburbs.
After lingering in foreclosure for almost six years, a modest 1960s bungalow started 2016 with mold growing on its basement walls, holes in its roof and busted pipes from standing empty for at least one winter. Now it’s a fresh-looking place with a new roof, stylish tile and fixtures in the updated kitchen and baths.
“This used to be one of the worst houses I’d seen,” […]

By |November 22nd, 2016|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off

The Cook County Land Bank Authority: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

By Yvette LeGrand, The South Shore Current  | August 2016
THE COOK COUNTY LAND BANK AUTHORITY (CCLBA) was created in 2013 to address the large inventory of vacant residential, industrial and commercial property in Cook County. Its goal is to return vacant land and abandoned buildings to productive use while preserving and revitalizing neighborhoods.
The Land Bank Authority can acquire, hold and transfer interest in real property throughout Cook County in order to promote redevelopment and reuse of the vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties too often prevalent in our community. “We want to save vacant properties and reduce their potentially blighting influence on […]

By |September 26th, 2016|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off

The Cook County Land Bank is chipping away at abandoned properties one house at a time

By Maya Dukmasova | August 12th, 2016
Imagine a county agency that doesn’t rely on taxpayer dollars to operate. And not only that, but it also generates wealth and helps revitalize struggling neighborhoods.
It’s not a fairytale, but how boosters describe the successes of the Cook County Land Bank Authority, now in its third year of operating.
The land bank’s purpose is twofold: to buy and resell abandoned property for rehab or redevelopment, and to clear land of blighted structures and revert it to redevelopment or community uses like parks and gardens. And since it’s inception in 2013, the land bank has acquired […]

By |August 15th, 2016|News Articles, News articles on CCLBA|Comments Off