Chicago City Council is proposing an ordinance that would help clean up those vacant properties affected by foreclosure in the city. We’ve all driven through neighborhoods only to see boarded up homes, graffiti, broken windows, and unkept lawns. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, PNC and JP Morgan Chase helped develop the ordinance along with the city.
What is proposed is to have the banks better maintain these properties that are awaiting foreclosure or were left vacant because the bank took ownership after a foreclosure. They would have to take responsibility for winterizing properties, putting up metal if the plywood was removed twice, and keeping stairs to the entry secure. If it was found that they weren’t maintaining the properties correctly according to the ordinance, they could be fined each time.
They’re hoping to make this ordinance take effect statewide by proposing it before the State legislature. For both the State and the banks, they’re also hoping to lower the amount of time it takes a property to go through foreclosure. Cook County is averaging about two years currently, and they’re hoping to get that down to six months tops.
According to this Chicago Tribune article, “The mayor wanted to be sure we were able to uphold the important maintenance requirements in Ald. Dowell’s ordinance, so we brought the banks to the table to work toward a solution,” said David Spielfogel, chief of policy and strategic planning for the mayor’s office. “In addition to the compromise ordinance, we are working toward a solution in Springfield that will ensure regulatory certainty for municipalities and banks.”
And if everything passes as everyone hopes, the ordinance should take effect by the end of this year.
What are your thoughts? Good or bad? I actually like that the banks helped to develop it, especially considering they’re the ones that would be fined if they don’t follow through. It really holds them responsible and keeps the city from looking like an awful mess. Leave me a comment or visit me online.