Troubled Buildings Initiative (TBI)

Program Overview

The Troubled Buildings Initiative (TBI) is a tool to help reclaim troubled and abandoned buildings that create dangerous and hazardous conditions for residents, neighbors, and first responders. TBI works with existing owners and lien holders, primarily through the housing court process with the use of receivers and by the acquisition of distressed notes and liens, to prevent these buildings from deteriorating into a state of disrepair which may lead to displacement, the loss of affordable housing, and unnecessary demolition.

TBI uses a coordinated approach from multiple municipal agencies, departments, community partners, and delegate agencies to help restore at‑risk buildings to viable status and prevent them from becoming abandoned The program is overseen by the Department of Housing (DOH) and implemented through delegate agency contracts through a citywide Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

City Agency Participants

  • Department of Housing
  • Chicago Housing Authority
  • Chicago Police Department/CAPS
  • Cook County Land Bank Authority
  • Department of Buildings
  • Department of Family and Support Services
  • Department of Law
  • Department of Streets and Sanitation
  • Department of Water Management

Supporting Organizations

  • Community Investment Corporation
  • Neighborhood Housing Services
  • Metropolitan Tenant Organization
  • Globetrotters Engineering Corporation
  • Local utilities


Through TBI, the City has acted aggressively to improve and acquire vacant and abandoned structures and turn them into needed affordable housing.

The TBI program began in 2004 with a focus on troubled multifamily rental properties. In 2006, the program expanded to include vacant and abandoned one- to four-unit properties. In 2008, the program grew to incorporate distressed condominiums. Collectively, these efforts have preserved more than 16,000 rental and for-sale units across the City.

How to Get Involved

To report a troubled building, please call 311 or report it via the CHI 311 website or mobile app. 

Service Facts


I Want To