Celebrating Our Shared Successes

When we find ourselves immersed in the daily tasks related to the hard work of reclaiming foreclosed homes and returning them to productive use, it’s always inspiring to take a step back, look at our accomplishments, and see how we’re making a difference.

On November 20, 2017, the Cook County Land Bank (CCLB) announced that it had acquired, transferred, and certified the completion of rehab on 200 homes. Because this is Chicago, it seemed fitting that the property is one built in the typical, historic, bungalow style.

To celebrate this milestone, CCLB held a ribbon cutting on this property attended by many notable political and neighborhood leaders. Joining CCLB and NCST in this celebration were the Cook County Board Chair Toni Preckwinkle, County Board member and CCLB Board chair Bridget Gainer, and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who provided start-up funding to CCLB from monies recovered by Illinois pursuant to the National Mortgage Settlement.

The private developer of this beautifully restored bungalow is a woman who decided to try to make a career out of fixing up her local neighborhood’s real estate. When she contacted CCLB, they connected her to more experienced real estate developers to help her achieve her vision. By purchasing this property from CCLB and completing a very successful substantial rehab, she is ready to do more work in this neighborhood.

Many critical partners made the revitalization of this property possible. This property was made available to CCLB for purchase through NCST’s Neighborhood Stabilization Initiative, a partnership with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The home itself came from Freddie Mac, and it came through CCLB, which operates as a purchasing intermediary between NCST’s First Look program and local nonprofit and for-profit developers looking to acquire and revitalize foreclosed homes in Cook County’s distressed neighborhoods.

To tour a wonderfully restored home that now will add value to the neighborhood rather than being a foreclosed and dilapidated home that reduces value was both exciting and inspiring. NCST looks forward to participating in many more such transformations in the coming months and years.

By Rob Grossinger, President, NCST