Cities across the US are grappling with the same question: What to do with all of those homes left vacant by the large number of foreclosures?
While government agencies at a national level – such as the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Treasury Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development – struggle to put together a coherent program for transforming foreclosed homes into rental properties, it seems that some cities are already taking matters into their own hands.
Action is afoot in Chicago, where efforts are being made fill up all of those empty homes with residents once again. Officials have launched a their own foreclosure to rental program that involves renting out foreclosed condos in the city and transforming them into apartments that people can afford. According to the Chicago Tribune, entire buildings are being sold off to investors and developers who promise to do up the condo units before renting them out.
As part of the Chicago foreclosure scheme, the lenders who own the properties receive a share of the money from the proceeds of the sale, once any liens have been deducted.
The Chicago Tribune reports that around 150 condos are currently in the process of being renovated and turned into apartment blocks. In addition, Community Investment Corporation, a non-profit mortgage lender based in the city, says that it has identified another 250 buildings that could also be salvaged by the program.
John Markowski, Community Investment Corp’s president, told the Chicago Tribune that the idea was simply to “restore the properties back to the city’s rental housing stock.”
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