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Senate Approves Community Revitalization Initiative

SPRINGFIELD – Last week, the Senate approved a proposal co-sponsored by State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Tinley Park) that will buoy communities currently dragged down by high rates of vacancy and foreclosure.

The revitalization measure would return vacant homes to productivity by providing property tax relief to distressed areas of Cook County, which currently has more than 55,000 vacant homes. By making homeownership cheaper, the property tax relief would encourage investment in communities blighted by uninhabited buildings.

“We know that vacant homes reduce property values, sometimes by as much as $10,000,” Hastings said. “Reducing the annual cost of owning homes and properties will bring badly needed investment to these communities.”

Proponents of the measure say that rehabilitating 500 homes would create 200 jobs, bring in $13.2 million in business income and wages and spur real estate and construction investment by an estimated $8.3 million.

The measure (SB 1740) passed the Senate this week and now goes to the House for approval.

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