New Ordinance to Waive City Debt on Vacant and Abandoned Properties in Low- and Moderate-Income Communities for Community Revitalization

January 26, 2022

City Council today passed the Encumbrance Ordinance which will relieve City debt on vacant and abandoned properties in low- to moderate-income communities that have the opportunity for rehabilitation and reoccupation for homeownership and business development. Supported by the departments of Housing (DOH), Law (DOL), and Buildings (DOB) for community revitalization, DOH plans to utilize various housing preservation programs to increase the opportunity to bring vacant and abandoned buildings.

“With this ordinance, Single Family Homes in the 7th ward will be able to be redeveloped, improving neighborhood vitality, and creating pathways to homeownership for residents,” said Alderman Greg Mitchell, 7th Ward. “Thank you, Mayor Lightfoot and my fellow City Council members, for supporting this effort and recognizing the importance of removing roadblocks to development in communities like South Shore, South Chicago, Calumet Heights and Jeffery Manor that have an abundance of vacant properties that were once occupied by homeowners.”

The Encumbrance Ordinance provides the authority to waive City debt as a necessary component of revitalizing buildings in low- to moderate-income communities where values are low and the ability to develop without subsidy is almost impossible. Waiving City debt eliminates the hurdle of added costs to properties that are already under-valued and provides an incentive to redevelop the lots. 


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