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Community meetings about vacant building crisis

Tue, Oct 16, 2012

Action Now organizers and members have gathered over 1,000 RSVPs for two big community meetings on the West and South sides of Chicago to discuss the vacant property crisis and community-based solutions. Action Now members will present their proposal for a “Rebuild Chicago” ordinance that would establish a city housing trust where vacant buildings could be donated, rehabbed and rented on a large scale. Elected officials that support Rebuild Chicago will also be at the community meetings, including Alderman Roderick Sawyer, Alderman Toni Foulkes and Representative Esther Golar.

When & Where:

South Side Meeting: October 18th, 2012 at 6pm at Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church, 6600 S. Hermitage

West Side Meeting: October 25th, 2012 at 6pm at Penn Elementary, 1616 S. Avers

Why: Vacant buildings have been a central issue for Action Now members for years because they are extremely dangerous and an eyesore for residents. They also drag down property values in the neighborhood while raising property taxes for surrounding homes.

Action Now’s campaign to combat the problem of abandoned buildings left behind after foreclosure has led to victories such as the amendment to Chicago’s Vacant Property Ordinance that now requires lenders and servicers to maintain and secure vacant buildings that they foreclosed on.

Action Now’s next step to address the housing crisis is a campaign called, “Rebuild Chicago,” which would begin with establishing a city land bank through a city ordinance. Vacant properties could then be donated to the land bank and developers would be able to rehab the properties and then rent them at an affordable rate. The goal of Rebuild Chicago is to improve communities by reducing the amount of vacant buildings, creating jobs, decreasing violence and crime, increase property values and lowering property taxes.

Contact: Aileen Kelleher
akelleher@actionnow.org

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