Dealing with Housing Abandonment in Chicago

The foreclosure crisis and economic meltdown have left many American cities struggling to cope with thousands of properties being abandoned -- not just by owners, but by lenders as well.

Huffington Post profiles the experience in Chicago, where a local nonprofit group called Neighborhood Housing Services does what it can to deal with the wreckage:

"As of last year, there were roughly 15,000 vacant buildings in Chicago, 85 percent of which were caught in some stage of the foreclosure process, according to city figures. Cities around the country face similar battles with such foreclosure ghost towns, struggling to cope with a growing number of empty properties left in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. Mortgage lenders alone have anywhere from 1.3 million to 5.3 million properties on their books, the vast majority sitting vacant while lenders wait for the housing market to improve. Entire blocks have been abandoned. Four years into the foreclosure crisis...some of the houses he sees have lost so much value that even lenders have walked away, deciding that foreclosure proceedings would likely cost more than the possible resale value of the house.

Many of the more seriously-damaged vacant houses, some rendered nearly worthless by neglect and plunging property prices, were already in less desirable neighborhoods. But the problem isn't limited to lower-income areas."

Full Story: Coping With Chicago's Foreclosure 'War Zones'

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