New Preservation Fund Would Help Stabilize Condos and Co-Ops in South Shore
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot introduced a measure to City Council today that would create a new pilot preservation fund that targets vulnerable condo and co-op owners in the South Shore community. The fund will provide owner-occupant grants to individual owners and a low-interest, long-term loan/grant product to homeowner associations (HOAs) for needed repairs and deferred maintenance to ensure that longtime homeowners, many of them older and on fixed incomes, can remain affordably housed. The South Shore Condo/Co-Op Preservation Fund Pilot will leverage DOH’s Troubled Buildings Initiative (TBI) and, together with the Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF), establish a loan/grant product to assist owner-occupants with repairs and provide loans to HOAs for needed maintenance.
Created in 2004, the Troubled Building Initiative is a tool to help reclaim troubled and abandoned buildings that promote 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. In 2006, the program expanded to include vacant and abandoned one- to four-unit properties and expanded again in 2008 to incorporate distressed condominiums. The initiative has preserved more than 16,000 rental and for-sale units across the City since its inception.
Condo/HOA owner/applicants will be able to apply directly to CCLF for program assistance. CCLF will guide owners through the process, with the goal of stabilizing their buildings. The City of Chicago will establish a fund with CCLF that will be used as a loan conservation reserve to support longer-term loans for condo owners. Condo owners will now have the option of financing repairs of their properties with reduced interest rates.
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