Treasury Department Helps Illinois Scrape Away Blighted Homes

April 04, 2014

Vacant distressed homeThe cavalry has been called in against vacant and blighted homes that have been left to rot following the foreclosure crisis. The Treasury Department has released $30 million of federal hardest-hit funds to demolish vacant, blighted properties. Municipalities will have to partner with non-profit groups in order to apply for the Blight Reduction Program funds, which will be administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

This is good news for the estimated 18,000 vacant properties in Chicago. There are many specifics yet to be worked out, but the distribution of funds will be need-based. Some Chicago metro area communities are in far worse shape than others, and these funds will help even the field as the gradual recovery of the Chicago area’s housing market that began last year bypassed many city neighborhoods and some suburban communities.

For instance, at the end of 2013, 18.1 percent of the residential addresses in the city’s Englewood neighborhood had been identified by postal carriers as vacant for at least 2 years, according to the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University. In Humboldt Park, the two-year vacancy rate was 9.3 percent and in Austin it was 8.5 percent. In South Cook County, the long-term vacancy rate was 9.1 percent.

The state has until December of 2017 to commit the funds, which is a time frame even with the challenges of tracing ownership of vacant properties and making sure everything is in order for demolition. Demolition for a single-family home can cost as much as $10,000 to $16,000.

To learn more about the allotment of funds and potential plans for use, see the full article in the Chicago Tribune!

About The Author

Read All Stories By Mitch Levinson

Mitch Levinson is the author of “Internet Marketing: The Key to Increased New Home Sales” published by BuilderBooks. He is an Internet marketing expert with expertise in search engine optimization, website development, email marketing, social media and CRM consulting services. He is known for creating effective programs that can be tracked through analytics to prove effectiveness and ROI. Mitch is founder and president of MLC New Home Marketing and MLC FlatFee Realty, as well as managing partner of mRELEVANCE, LLC, a Marketing, Communication, Interactive agency with offices in Chicago and Atlanta. He currently leads the Chicago team. A Multi-Million Dollar Sales Producer who earned an MBA in Computer Information Systems and eCommerce, he brings a unique perspective and experience to the field of real estate communications. Mitch combines the two interests in order to help home builders and developers gain a competitive advantage through the Internet and technology. When he isn’t behind a computer, he enjoys participating in sports and coaching his kids’ teams. Mitch resides in Arlington Heights, Ill., a northwest suburb of Chicago, with his family, which includes two rambunctious labs. Visit my Google+ profile.

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