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Bridgeport Landlord Workshop Draws Early Interest

By Casey Cora | April 17, 2014 7:23am
 A pedestrian walks by a vacant building in the 3300 block of South Lituanica Avenue in Bridgeport.
A pedestrian walks by a vacant building in the 3300 block of South Lituanica Avenue in Bridgeport.
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DNAinfo/Casey Cora

BRIDGEPORT — A grassroots civic group best known for neighborhood anti-crime measures is branching out with a workshop for local landlords.

The Bridgeport Citizens Group’s first-ever landlord workshop takes place April 28 at the Deering District police station, 3120 S. Halsted St.

“If [landlords] have a problem, they’ve come to CAPS and we’ve noticed there’s a lack of understanding about how the process works. There’s a lot of city codes and laws and procedures that lot of people who’ve invested in one or two buildings don’t know about or find difficult to navigate,” said Mary Welter, a member of the Bridgeport Citizens Group.

Topics covered at the two-hour session — “a huge amount of material for two hours,” Welter said — will include the city’s "Housing Choice” voucher program, tips to reduce crime, building code basics, background checks, the basics of leases and inspection, and property management best practices.

The workshop is co-hosted by the Chicago Police Department, the city’s law and buildings departments and the Community Investment Corporation, a nonprofit lender centered on rehabbing apartment buildings.

Earlier this week, city and state leaders announced a new plan that will be administered by the Community Investment Corporation that makes available a $26 million loan pool to rehab about 200 vacant properties in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods hit hard by foreclosure — places where banks have made it harder for developers to get loans.

It’s open to certain property owners in Cook and surrounding counties. Details of that program are available here.

In Bridgeport, roughly a dozen buildings would qualify for the loan program, Welter said, including a few that were shuttered after police raids.

“There are several around Lituanica Avenue. We’re looking at rehabbing those buildings and getting the neighborhood rehabbed over there because it’s really pretty bad,” Welter said.

Spots at the upcoming landlord seminar are filling up quickly ,and anyone shut out from the first session will be put on a waiting list for a second. There’s no date on that yet.

Interested in the seminar? Call 312-508-8852 to reserve a spot.