On Nov. 4, the Cook County Board of Commissioners distributed more than $12 million in federal foreclosure recovery funding to two groups of communities in south and west Cook County. The funding is part of $28 million that the county received through the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program, created to assist communities that have been affected by foreclosed and abandoned properties.
The South Suburban Housing Collaborative, which represents 28 communities and is spearheaded by the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, received more than $9 million to work in 11 towns. The communities will use this initial investment to jumpstart and leverage additional funding to comprehensively redevelop nearly 500 energy-efficient homes and demolish and/or land bank an additional 200 sites for future mixed-use and transit-oriented development. The West Cook County Housing Collaborative — which is led by IFF and includes six communities — received more than $3 million toward its plan to acquire, rehabilitate and sell 100 foreclosed single-family homes; rehabilitate and rent 44 multi-family units. Both collaboratives also were successful in securing needed dollars for housing counseling by such partners as NHS of Chicago, Spanish Coalition for Housing, and Oak Park Regional Housing Center.
Where We Stand
Foreclosures occur within municipal borders, but their impacts ripple through housing and labor markets across the region. To make matters worse, the amount of foreclosure recovery funding available to communities pales in comparison to the scale of the problem. MPC and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus have been providing technical assistance to the collaborative efforts in south and west Cook County for the past year, to help them more efficiently address an issue that affects all of us.
By working together, they can pool resources, prioritize investments for maximum benefit, achieve economies of scale, and create a "one-stop shop" for developers, employers and lenders. The collaboratives' groundbreaking approach has earned the support of a wide range of nonprofit organizations, foundations and companies across the region, as well as such national thought-leaders as the Brookings Institution. It also has been heralded by the Obama administration as a model for sustainable redevelopment in America's inner suburbs.
MPC applauds the amazing leadership of the communities involved with these interjurisdictional efforts, which have identified several other opportunities for equally large (and larger) awards from other sources. MPC looks forward to continuing this work to catalyze real change and economic growth in the southern and western suburbs.