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The Cook County Land Bank is chipping away at abandoned properties one house at a time


Imagine a county agency that doesn’t rely on taxpayer dollars to operate. And not only that, but it also generates wealth and helps revitalize struggling neighborhoods.

It’s not a fairytale, but how boosters describe the successes of the Cook County Land Bank Authority, now in its third year of operating.

The land bank’s purpose is twofold: to buy and resell abandoned property for rehab or redevelopment, and to clear land of blighted structures and revert it to redevelopment or community uses like parks and gardens. And since it’s inception in 2013, the land bank has acquired 335 properties in Chicago and suburban Cook County—mostly blighted, abandoned homes, but also vacant lots, commercial buildings, and industrial sites—in an effort to reverse the devastation of the foreclosure crisis and resulting population loss….Please click here to read Maya Dukmasova’s story in the Reader.

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