Housing rehabs could unlock wealth in Chicago’s struggling neighborhoods

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At a time of intense interest in revitalizing Chicago’s predominantly Black neighborhoods and the housing stock, building wealth and providing a path to homeownership, deep-rooted market conditions stand in the way.

The announcement of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park has attracted speculative buying and fears of gentrification that could displace residents. Yet much of South Shore awaits to be transformed. Whether outside investors are discovering rental income doesn’t support the high prices they paid and there’s little money left for upkeep, or whether they deliberately are milking their properties, the result is the same.

"Outside investors aren’t maintaining the properties the way they should," says Tonya Trice, executive director of the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. Trash piles up and repair requests go unanswered. Some landlords have stripped buildings of their architectural distinctiveness, Trice says. Storefronts on 71st Street and other commercial corridors sit vacant because property owners can capitalize on tax breaks while they wait for gentrification.

via Crain’s Chicago Business

April 9, 2022 at 07:25PM

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