Vacant Properties

Cook County recently established a Land Bank to address vacant, bank-owned properties.  This will allow banks to donate vacant properties to the County.  The County has the authority to clear title, deal with back taxes, and liens, and allow properties to be rehabbed or torn down.  This is a tremendous opportunity to do something about abandoned homes that are plaguing our communities.

But it is up to us to make this work at a local level.  SOUL has three goals for Land Bank:
  • Create affordable rental housing
  • Create jobs and job training for local residents in the rehab process
  • Create wealth for local residents via a rent-to-own program

We need to get banks to donate properties that can be rehabbed and turned into affordable housing, not just tear downs or blighted buildings.  We need to manage the rental process so that the renters are good neighbors who enhance the community.  We also want to create jobs and job training in the rehab process.  And finally, we want to establish a rental program so that renters who qualify can eventually own the places that they rent, so we can create wealth in our communities.


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