December 19, 2014

Mayor Emanuel Announces Third Phase of Large Lots Program with Expansion to Austin

Approximately 250 City-owned Lots Available for $1 Through January 2015; Part of Mayor Emanuel’s Five Year Housing Plan to Create, Improve and Preserve More than 41,000 Units of Housing

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced the second expansion of the Large Lots program to Austin. The program will enable homeowners, block-clubs and non-profit groups in the Austin community to apply to purchase vacant, City-owned land for $1 per parcel through January 2015. Approximately 250 City-owned Lots are available within Austin’s community area boundaries. Most were acquired by the City through property tax and demolition liens.

“The Large Lot program has enabled the greater Englewood and East Garfield Park communities to take ownership of their revitalization and we expect that the same will hold true in Austin,” Mayor Emanuel said. “This is an important next step in the City’s Five Year Housing Plan, and as importantly, it shows that our efforts to partner with Chicagoans to strengthen their communities from the ground-up are bearing fruit.”

To qualify as a buyer, an applicant must own property on the same block, be current on property taxes, and have no outstanding debt to the City, such as parking tickets or water bills, among other requirements. Lots proposed for purchase must be owned by the City, be vacant and have residential zoning. Properties will be sold “as-is” via a quit claim deed.

Up to two parcels are available per application. Typical Lot sizes are about 3,125 square feet.
More than 410 applications were submitted for about 4,000 available Lots in greater Englewood. In East Garfield, nearly 320 applications were submitted for approximately 410 available Lots. Most are being planned as side yards, community gardens or landscaped open spaces.

Austin property owners can submit applications for approximately 250 available Lots at until January 29, 2015. Applications are also available during business hours at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Room 905. For more information about the application process, call 312.744.0363.

The Large Lot Program was the first initiative launched by the City as part of the Five Year Housing Plan, which will invest $1.3 billion in spending to create, improve and preserve more than 41,000 units of housing.