to the report, for every 100 extremely low-income households in
Illinois, there are only 28 available and affordable rental homes. In
Illinois, a family of four is considered extremely low-income if their
annual income is less than or at $21,650, which is 30 percent of the area median
Extremely low-income renters typically spend more than half their income on rent, according to researchers.
you are paying 60 or 70 percent of your income toward your housing
costs, there’s not much money left for the other necessities of life,
such as food, medical costs or investing in your education,” said Bob
Palmer, policy director for the statewide housing coalition, Housing
Derived from a long history of discrimination, a staggering
opportunity gap has widened financial disparities between black and
white Americans, condemning African Americans to less home equity,
according to a new report by the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University.
studying 1,700 American families for 25 years, the
report examines the major causes of America’s racial wealth gap.
Researchers found that the total wealth gap between white and
African American families had almost tripled during the study, increasing
from $85,000 in 1984 to $236,500 in 2009.
Although the Chicago are saw a year-over-year decrease on homes with
negative equity, there were still almost 645,000 homeowners that owed
more on their mortgages than their homes were worth at the end of
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.”
Belmont-Cragin resident Mary Bonelli is 76-years-old, has cancer and
is about to be thrown out of the home that’s been in her family for
nearly 100 years.
Her home went into foreclosure in the
spring of 2011 due to a bank error, she said, and by the time she
realized the problem, it was too late.
Yesterday, she was put on the Cook County Sheriff’s eviction list.
lot of people will think, ‘Oh she didn’t pay the mortgage,’” Bonelli
said inside her home Wednesday night before a candlelight vigil on her
porch with supporters. “That’s the first thing that pops into people’s
minds. They don’t know the whole story.”