Cook County Land Bank Authority Program celebrates 1,000th home renovation in West Garfield Park
CHICAGO - County and bank leaders gathered Wednesday in West Garfield Park to celebrate the latest home returned to area families.
The Cook County Land Bank Authority was formed back in 2013 to address vacant proprieties after the financial crash of 2008.
The 1,000th home renovation under the Cook County Land Bank Authority Program was completed Wednesday.
The home, located in the 3800 block of West Adams, has sat vacant for at least five years.
Officials say destroying vacant properties is a disservice and disinvestment of local communities.
"The number of vacant properties that surround a public school — they are all connected right? By disinvesting in communities, Black and Brown folk don't feel comfortable here, then the schools that we want to send our kids to won't have the support and resources they need," said Cook County Board Commissioner Brandon Johnson.
"What may have gone to a larger developer is now in the hands of the community, which is one of the many ways we generate local wealth through property ownership," said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.
This housing program has a goal of putting 5,000 vacant properties in Black and Brown communities back into the ownership of community members.