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Press release from Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office:

National Foreclosure Settlement Funding To Advance Neighborhood Rebuilding Efforts

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced $70 million to assist housing efforts across the state to help rebuild Illinois communities that have been devastated by the national foreclosure crisis.

The funding provided by Madigan stems from her lead role in obtaining a historic $25 billion national settlement last year with the country’s five largest bank mortgage servicers – Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank, formerly GMAC. The settlement addressed allegations of widespread robo-signing of documents and other fraudulent practices by banks during foreclosure proceedings.

With today’s announcement, Madigan is dedicating $70 million in settlement funding toward relief efforts for Illinois communities fraught with vacant and abandoned properties. The funding seeks to help rebuild neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by foreclosure in two critical ways: By rebuilding and rehabilitating vacant and abandoned properties to turn around blighted neighborhoods and by providing critical housing counseling to homeowners and renters to build stable communities. Some resources were also dedicated to housing policy and data experts that will ensure all the awardees have access to vital information, tools and strategies for success….

A snapshot of awards from the $70 million:

  1. Cook County Land Bank: $6 million to assist in the start-up of the Cook County Land Bank, estimated to be the largest land bank in the country, and support the already existing South Suburban Land Bank. The two land banks will support local municipalities in bringing vacant, abandoned and foreclosed properties back to productive use – boosting local economies, benefiting area schools and reducing crime.

Please click here to read the full release.

 What does this mean for the Southland?

SSMMA’s  Housing Collaborative/Metropolitan Mayors Caucus will receive $335,536 to develop a replicable code enforcement strategy. The three main objectives of the project are: 1) develop a data base for tracking troubled properties; 2) provide incentives to responsive owners; and 3) publish a “best practices” manual on code enforcement strategies. Our partners on this project are Metropolitan Planning Council, Center for Community Progress, and The Law Firm of Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, Dicanni & Krafthefer.

Additional awards benefiting the southern suburbs include:

  1. South Suburban Land Bank Development Authority (SSLBDA)/Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA)

  2. $6M to help both SSLBDA acquire troubled properties and to help launch the CCLBDA

  3. Community Investment Corporation – $2.2M to leverage private investment for the rehab of 200 2-4 unit properties in targeted Chicago neighborhoods and in the southern suburbs.

  4. Habitat for Humanity South Suburbs – $1M to renovate 7-10 affordable homes for sale targeting Chicago Heights

  5. Hispanic Housing Development Corporation – $3M to implement a model scattered site rental program targeting Chicago Heights

  6. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc. /South Suburban Housing Center – $1.75M to leverage with additional funds to expand affordable lending and homeownership education and counseling service in Kane County and the southern suburbs.

  7. Spanish Coalition for Housing – $1.1M to provide bilingual financial literacy services by providing foreclosure, mediation and new homebuyer counseling in targeted communities including some in the southern suburbs.

Most of these awards will be distributed over a three-year period. Click here to read more about these and all of the funded projects and about the process.

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