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City To Spend $2M To Buy, Renovate 50 Vacant South, West Side Homes: Rahm

By Heather Cherone | September 13, 2017 1:02pm
 An abandoned home in the 6400 block of south Wood Street in Englewood.
An abandoned home in the 6400 block of south Wood Street in Englewood.
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DNAinfo/Andrea V. Watson

CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel Wednesday proposed using $2 million in city money to purchase and repair 50 vacant homes in Garfield Park, Humboldt Park and Englewood — and hire young Chicagoans to do the work.

The program — which must be approved by the Chicago City Council — would also use $4 million from MB Financial, Rush University Medical Center and the Chicago Community Loan Fund, the mayor's office announced.

The three-year pilot program is designed to create nearly 200 jobs, officials said.

Once the single-family homes in the Englewood (7th), Ogden (10th) and Harrison (11th) police districts during the next three years, the homes will be "sold at affordable prices," officials said.

"By bringing together community, non-profit and corporate partners for important programs like this we can generate a powerful economic impact that makes a difference for years to come," Emanuel said in a statement.

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The city's contribution to the program would come from the funds left unclaimed by the city's property tax rebate effort in 2016.

In February, Emanuel's plan to use the roughly $16 million unclaimed from the rebate designed to ease the sting of the largest property tax increase in Chicago's history ran into a buzz saw of opposition from aldermen, who wanted the money to be used to fight violent crime in Chicago neighborhoods.

Aldermen eventually approved Emanuel's plan after he dropped a demand to use $500,000 to plant 1,000 trees throughout the city.