- Chicago Newstips by Community Media Workshop - http://www.newstips.org -

Englewood left out of city’s foreclosure rehab program

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Englewood residents spearheaded by Action Now members will march down Peoria Avenue from 55th to 61st Streets (Saturday, June 4, starting at noon) to protest the city’s failure to allocate funds to rehab foreclosed properties in that community.

Englewood is one of the Chicago communities hardest hit by foreclosures, with hundreds of vacant properties — just about every block has several, said Aileen Kelleher of Action Now [2].

But only one census tract [3] in Englewood has been included in the city’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program – and no properties [4] are being rehabbed there, she said.  One building is slated for demolition.

State Senator Mattie Hunter, Alderman Toni Foulkes and Alderman Roderick Sawyer will join residents at a 1 p.m. press conference, calling on the city to spend some of the $58 million remaining in Chicago’s NSP funds in Englewood.

With $166 million in federal funds allocated to Chicago for NSP since 2009, only four renovations have been completed, said Kelleher.

“The city hasn’t been spending the money,” and what it is spending, “it’s not spending it in the right places,” she said.

“We all wish it was moving along faster,” said Rachel Johnston of the Chicago Rehab Network [5].

She said other municipalities have gotten NSP programs up more quickly by working with existing community development corporations.

CRN has argued [6] that HUD has recently expanded definitions of “foreclosed” and “abandoned” properties eligible for NSP – including properties where owners are 60 days delinquent on their mortgage – and that the rehab funds could now be used on occupied properties to keep families in their homes.