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Steger to target foreclosed, abandoned properties

Elected officials at Monday's village board meeting. Photo credit: Dennis Sullivan.

Elected officials at Monday’s village board meeting. Photo credit: Dennis Sullivan.

by Dennis Sullivan
June 17, 2014

Steger officials are preparing to join Park Forest, Sauk Village and eight other communities in a joint effort intended to reclaim vacant and abandoned properties.

Mayor Ken Peterson Monday evening suggested the village would formally join the effort at the next village board meeting after hearing a presentation about the South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority.

Russell Rydin, executive director of the East Hazel Crest-based intergovernmental agency, said the group’s goal is to “get vacant or abandoned or underutilized properties back in use.” He said there would be no financial liability to Steger, and no dues.

“It sounds like a great program for us,” Peterson said after Rydin’s presentation, adding the board wants to get abandoned and foreclosed homes in the village “back into people’s hands” or developed into something marketable, to “put more value into our community.”

Peterson said village staff would “continue to work to identify these properties.”

During his presentation, Rydin said the agency looks at each community’s priorities, noting Steger hopes to take advantage of proposed commuter service on the Union-Pacific/CSX rail line.

Responding to Trustee Tim Perchinski’s question about how long the South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority has been operating, Rydin said, “We just got our funding about two months ago,” but have “been setting up for a year.”

The SSLBDA Website shows a property inventory consisting of three single family homes in Sauk Village and Park Forest, a condominium in Blue Island and a vacant residential lot in Park Forest. Rydin, again responding to Perchinski, said the goal is to have “100 properties in the next year or so.”

In 2013, the abandoned Property Program administered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and funded through filing fees paid by financial institutions awarded the South Suburban Land Bank and Development Authority $550,400; of that amount, $289,800 was for Cook County communities and $260,600 was for Will County communities.

Steger straddles both Cook and Will counties.
Original material copyright 2014 Eastern Will County News; all rights reserved.

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