Vacant Buildings Affect Chicago Real Estate Values

Vacant buildings don’t make for good neighbors. Vacancies bring down Chicago real estate property values, put a damper on morale and squashes any pride of ownership that once existed, and attract a criminal element which in turn brings down property values, etc, etc.

These are some of the reasons Alderman Pat Dowell, 3rd, introduced a measure to the Chicago City Council last month that would toughen the city’s existing vacant property ordinance. If passed, the updated ordinance largely would pass the responsibility for securing and maintaining vacant buildings onto lenders, regardless of whether they have actually reclaimed legal possession of a building.

“There are people walking away from their homes,” said David McDowell, of the Southwest Organizing Project, a Chicago community group involved in discussions about the proposal. “We find homes that are vacant and the foreclosure process hasn’t been completed. There’s no one to take responsibility for the home to be boarded up or the grass cut. This is a way of making sure even if a homeowner leaves, someone is taking care of the property.”

The ordinance would reward Chicago residents willing to document violations for the city. To receive a finder’s fee equivalent to 5 percent of the total amount of fees and fines assessed at a building, a person must file an official complaint through the city’s 311 call service or its Web site. Individuals would need to provide their name, address, Social Security number, a photograph showing any violation of the building code, the name and address of the property owner, and information on whether the property is registered with the city.

The person also must be willing, if asked by the city, to attend any administrative hearings related to the building and the code violation.

We applaud the Chicago City Council for protecting our neighborhoods and our property values.

Stay tuned for updates on the proposed ordinance in the coming weeks.

Learn about Chicago real estate.

What is your Chicago real estate worth?

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One Response to “Vacant Buildings Affect Chicago Real Estate Values”

  1. Realtor In Addison IL Says:

    wow, this is great information. thank you for the post!

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