At the end of 2012, the Cook
County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on creating
the largest land bank in the US to begin solving issues in communities
regarding the over populated nature of abandoned and vacant properties.
Their sole purpose will be to restore life into these
communities by bringing distressed and foreclosed properties back to active tax
paying status. They will not only
acquire these properties but also fix and manage them.
Currently, there are 85,000 pending foreclosures in Cook
County, a number that is concerning to the land bank commissioner Bridget
Gainer, and 90% of those filings will end in default.
The land bank will
begin receiving properties within the year and the properties will come from a
number of sources, real estate owned donations, financial institutions, the
Federal Housing Financing Agency, servicers and the from the city and county’s
public land inventory.
The land bank will be primarily led by a board of 13 members
from various industries, including banking and real estate.
Gainer added, "The land bank will incentivize development,
promote sustainable homeownership and create rental opportunities, all while
keeping communities at the table for the planning and redevelopment of their
neighborhoods. In short – our goal is that it will make our communities great places
this may not be the end all be all solution for this metropolis but it is a
plan set in motion.