A nearly 80-year-old legislation aimed at putting troubled and tax-delinquent Chicago-area properties back into productive use has done little to improve or resolve racial disparities in the city’s Black and Latino neighborhoods.according to a study.
A report released Tuesday by the Cook County Treasurer’s Office proposes eliminating or revising Illinois’ scavenger sale law in favor of tax-deductions and other programs that allow homeowners of color to accumulate generational wealth. can.
Other recommendations include listing property available to the public, pushing for a law lowering the interest rate applied by Cook County for outstanding property tax payments, and allowing property owners to make partial payments to meet tax liabilities. is included.
“The biggest problem is the lien on the property,” said study author Hal Dardick. “By the time (properties) come up for sale, many criminals, decay. You have to pay tax when you don’t even have a house.”
Treasurer Maria Pappas expects the study to be filed with the county board in the coming weeks and shared with the state legislature and government. JB Pritzker.
The study blames federal and banking policies for the deterioration of many neighborhoods of color and the migration of blacks from Chicago known as redlining.The practice of banks discriminating against racial minorities or certain neighborhoods.
Last October, the Justice Department announced a cross-government effort To investigate and prosecute redlining.
Pappas said that the scavenger sale law was “a solution to redlining, but it did not work because it did not solve redlining and the inherent lack of generational wealth” among Black families.
After the rise of home foreclosures during the Great Depression, the federal government revamped mortgage loan laws in an effort to prevent future economic crises.
The now defunct federal Homeowners Loan Corporation produced “safety maps” between 1935 and 1940 that ranked mortgage lending prospects—from best to worst—in 239 cities across the United States. Areas with high credit risk were drawn in red and were often majority Black neighborhoods.
“The majority of vacant lots, abandoned homes and boarded-up businesses in minority areas are located in areas where the U.S. government discouraged mortgages,” the Cook County study said.
Under the Illinois Scavenger Sale, which was initiated by the Illinois General Assembly in 1943, property with three or more years of unpaid taxes on land at auction list 20-year periods.
Of the 27,358 homes and vacant lots offered at the county’s 2022 scavenger sale, 14,085 fall within the confines of the Chicago area safety map. Data from the study shows that most of those 14,085 properties were relegated.
Of the 27,358 properties, over 72% were primarily in black wards and suburbs. Only 7,636 received bids.
According to Pappas, who called it disappointing for residents, the scavenger sale has proved insufficient in restoring distressed properties in communities that have long suffered from housing discrimination, low mortgage credit and low-value mortgage appraisals in minority communities. From.
“You give up in the end because there is no easy road to success,” she said. “You are desperate, and for African Americans who are already disappointed with what has happened in their neighborhood, it is a double defeat. It goes on being defeated from generation to generation. Nothing to give to grandchildren. Is.”
The study also sees similar patterns in Detroit, Philadelphia and other cities.
In Philadelphia, approximately 82% of the 6,167 publicly available properties were within the confines of that city’s federal loan map and held by the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation.
Of the more than 75,500 distressed properties held by the Detroit Land Bank Authority as of April, about 71,500 Federal Homeowners’ Loans Corp were in the mapped areas. The Cook County study found that 23,967 — about 33.5% — of those properties were remodeled.
“The impact (of the redlining) is what you can still see today,” said Anika Goss, president and CEO of Detroit Future City, a nonprofit working to implement a 50-year framework for the city. Institution.
“It’s not just housing and commercial redevelopment, but also infrastructure redevelopment,” said Goss. “These are places that have been bad for many years – where the infrastructure is exceptionally poor. You can see weak lighting, bad roads, bad sidewalks – all those things that make a neighborhood of value.”
Detroit has demolished more than 20,000 homes and other structures since 2014 and, along with its Land Bank Authority, has been aggressive in providing homes and land. For those who want to move to the city or are already living there.
According to John Roach, a spokesman for Mayor Mike Duggan, about 21,000 side lots have been sold to residents, putting the land back on Detroit’s tax roll.
About 16,000 structures have been auctioned or sold through the programme. There is also a buyback program that allows people living in a home that has gone through foreclosure to obtain a deed for $1,000 and live in the home.
Williams reported from Detroit. He is a member of Associated Press’s Race and Ethnicity team.