In an effort to reverse the problems that have cropped up in a number of communities over recent years as a result of the rise
in vacant and abandoned properties, the Cook County Board voted last
week to create a countywide land bank, a move Board Commissioner Bridget Gainer is hopeful will act as a first step towards economic revitalization for some of the area’s most blighted neighborhoods.
Last week, the Cook County Board
voted unanimously in favor of forming the Cook County Land Bank
Authority, which will be tasked with acquiring vacant and abandoned properties
with the goal of making them taxable entities once they’re redeveloped.
up and running, the Authority will be geograpically the largest land bank in the
country. Gainer said much of its focus, in the beginning, will be on helping communities that have been hardest hit by
the foreclosure crisis.
“One of the things that I worried about
when we traveled all over the county talking to people in these
communities was that some of these communities are going to hit a point
of no return with the percentage of vacancies,” Gainer said. “We’ve got
to jump in and stop that from happening.”
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