Sunday, November 17, 2013

Razing VS Rehabbing: What Makes More Sense

Over the past week I have seen a number of tweets from RAGE (Resident Association of Greater Englewood)  about property. RAGE  current service area include the Greater Grand Crossing portion of the 6th ward and will cover more when the boundaries move further west to include a portion of Englewood. The tweets look at the current state of property in Englewood/Greater Grand Crossing. There were examples of great Queen Anne style properties as well as dilapidated multifamily brick structures.

Over at Crain's there is an editorial piece that questions whether rehabbing a property or properties on blocks or areas with large number of dilapidated properties is the best use of money or is a better and higher use of money to raze blocks and start over and give those property owners who have maintained there properties a chance to recoup their investments.

The editorial was based on an article Crain's ran last week on the foreclosure crisis. Here is an excerpt from the article
Nine buildings are boarded up in the 5200 block of South Wood Street in Back of the Yards. Mary Washington's home might have become No. 10.

Unable to make her $1,425 monthly mortgage payment, Ms. Washington was facing foreclosure on the two-story shotgun house that she and her late husband bought in 1985. Earlier this fall, she says, she worked out a trial loan modification with her lender that lowered her payment to $617 and allowed her to keep the property.

“I thought about giving up, but everything I had and have I put into this house,” she says. “I would have had nowhere to go but the sidewalk.”

Foreclosure and board-ups are a part of life today on the street that Ms. Washington, 73, says was “just beautiful” when her family moved there from the Cabrini-Green housing project on the North Side.

Read the complete article at
So what do you think?

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