RHOPI Activity Update: Foreclosed and Vacant Properties
The following is part of a series of quarterly updates on the progress of RHOPI task forces since its inception.
Foreclosed and Vacant Property Priorites
1. Create An Information Clearinghouse
Create a clearinghouse to track data, such as: the extent of the problem; variance among communities; and information on regional strategies, resources and efforts.
2. Develop Best Practices
Identify and disseminate best practices for the acquisition, rental management, rehabilitation, demolition and/or sale of foreclosed properties
3. Identify Entities for Implementation
Identify existing or create new organizational capacity to implement strategies related to foreclosed vacant properties.
Update and Progress
The fall 2008 Regional HOPI meetings proved a timely opportunity to bring together diverse agencies to tackle the dual challenges and opportunities associated with the worsening economic and foreclosure crisis and the significant federal funding opportunities in the form of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act and later, in early 2009, the second round of Neighborhood Stabilization funding established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Chicago Metropolis 2020 (CM2020), Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC), and Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) volunteered as lead agencies to advance Regional HOPI objectives and hosted a series of meetings, discussions and tours of the hardest hit area. As a result of this effort and the participation in planning and meetings by dozens of individuals from the public, private and non-profit sectors, two inter-jurisdictional collaboratives have been formed to serve areas of high need – one in South Cook County and the second in West Cook County. These efforts have been featured as best practices in publications and events by the Brookings Institution, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Chicago Sun Times, the National Housing Conference and others. These clusters are seeking to optimize deployment of NSP funds for the greatest impact, in part by connecting with other housing strategies such as Employer Assisted Housing.
Furthermore, CMAP coordinates the efforts of recipients of NSP1 program funds. CMAP has created and managed the NSP Coordinating Council and maintains an active NSP listserv. The NSP Coordinating Council includes all of the jurisdictions receiving NSP1 dollars and local HUD Community Planning and Development staff. The NSP Coordinating Council, which meets quarterly, provides a platform to share information, exchange best practices, discuss needed trainings, leverage additional assistance and maximize regional impact.
Building on NSP coordination and Regional HOPI initiatives, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) recently submitted a $78 million grant application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2), as part of a regional consortium of local governments. Members of the Chicago Metropolitan Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 Consortium (CMNSPC) include the municipalities of Aurora, Berwyn, Cicero, Elgin, and Joliet; the counties of Cook, DuPage, Kendall, Lake, and Will; and the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Additionally, the consortium includes Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago as a non-profit member. This inter-jurisdictional approach to NSP2 supports efficiencies, economies of scale, and coordination of resources in a way that has not been seen before in the region. Together, consortium members will be in a stronger position to leverage additional resources to contribute to the overall objectives of the NSP2 program — stabilizing neighborhoods that have been severely impacted by foreclosures. The model provides a platform to share information, exchange best practices, and ultimately maximize impact. Through the use of NSP2 funds, CMAP and its partners plan to:
- Establish Financing Mechanisms for 209 households
- Purchase and Rehabilitate 408 homes and properties, of which 151 will be rental and 257 will be for sale
- Demolish 121 Blighted Structures
- Redevelop new housing on 97 demolished or vacant properties
On other fronts, CMAP is working with Business and Professional People for the Public Interest to develop a best practice guide for dealing with vacant and foreclosed buildings with an anticipated late fall release.