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Housing
Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
3:51pm
Tue Aug 14, 2012

Emanuel Opposition May Squelch Use Of Eminent Domain On Foreclosures

A San Francisco-based firm spent the morning trying to sell the Chicago City Council on the idea that they can use eminent domain to seize properties in danger of falling into foreclosure. The firm argued that the use of eminent domain, which occurs when government acquires private property in the name of the greater good, could lead to the public benefit of fewer foreclosures. Representatives from Mortgage Resolution Partners LLC had the ear of Ald. Ed Burke (14th), chairman of the City Council Finance Committee, and the backing of Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), head of the Housing and Real Estate Committee.

But the effort was perhaps futile as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel indicated at a press conference today that he opposes the plan.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel said that he did not think eminent domain was the “right instrument” to combat foreclosures. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
12:53pm
Mon Aug 13, 2012

Cook County Residents Ask Preckwinkle, Dart For Foreclosure Eviction Moratorium (VIDEO)

Homeowners and tenants frustrated by the impending threat of foreclosure called on county leaders to put in place a one year-stay on evictions.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle along with Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart met with a crowd of more than 100 residents at a community meeting held Thursday on the city's near West Side.  Organizers said the event was intended to give individuals the opportunity to tell officials their own experiences with facing the threat of losing their homes, and to explain how delaying the eviction process could provide some with much-needed — albeit temporary — relief.

Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
2:56pm
Fri Aug 10, 2012

Housing Advocates Converge Against FHFA Head DeMarco

Housing advocates in Chicago and across the country have begun to channel their frustration with the sprawling foreclosure crisis toward one man: Ed DeMarco (pictured), acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), which includes several Chicago groups, fired off a letter yesterday to President Barack Obama demanding that he make a recess appointment for a new FHFA director. Meanwhile, the Chicago area foreclosure rate is on the rise. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
3:58pm
Wed Jul 25, 2012

Blacks, Latinos Face Ongoing Discrimination In Mortgage Lending Process, Report Finds

A racial divide continues to perpetuate among those seeking a mortgage loan, according to a new study. The report alleges that mortgage lenders have steered more black and Latino borrowers towards government-backed home loans by limiting their access to more conventional financing.

An analysis of mortgage lending in seven cities found that loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were made to both minority borrowers and those residing in predominantly non-white neighborhoods at a much higher rate than white customers.

Read more »

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
4:49pm
Tue Jul 24, 2012

Board Takes First Step Toward Cook County Land Bank

The Cook County Board passed a resolution today setting up a committee that has 60 days to devise a model for a county land bank, an ambitious proposal that board President Toni Preckwinkle called a “critical tool to help combat the foreclosure crisis and eradicate blight in our communities.”

As we have reported, a land bank is a quasi-governmental organization intended to seize and manage properties until they can be put into productive use. Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:58pm
Wed Jul 11, 2012

Neighborhoods May Not Be Ultimate Winners In Plan To Demolish High-Crime Properties

A plan to demolish abandoned buildings in high-crime areas used for illegal activity in Chicago has not been well received by housing advocates. They say area residents may not wind up the big winners once the plan gets executed.

Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
10:52am
Thu Jun 28, 2012

Advocacy Group Wants Infrastructure Trust Used For Vacant Properties

The Infrastructure Trust ordinance, a plan where private investors will fund public infrastructure, passed City Council over two months ago, but the city has not identified Trust projects, besides an initial plan to retrofit municipal buildings.

So the Chicago advocacy group Action Now, which previously opposed the Trust, unveiled their own detailed proposal yesterday, calling for the Trust and developers to turn vacant city properties into affordable rental homes. Read more »