Crain's Chicago Business reports on data released by the Chicago Department of Buildings that vacant properties are concentrated in low-income, predominantly African-American communities on the far South Side. The abandoned buildings far less prevalent in North Side lakefront neighborhoods. Most vacant properties are the result of home foreclosures, and one partial solution is a vacant-building ordinance passed last year by the City Council.
The measure required lenders that take over foreclosed properties to pay a registration fee and maintain the sites. But the modest ordinance, which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are challenging in federal court, cannot change the fact that a growing number of Chicago homes are in some stage of foreclosure.