Recent research by the
Woodstock Institute shows that in 2007 alone, over 35 percent of the
foreclosures in the City of Chicago, or over 4,822 foreclosure filings,
were on small
multi-family properties.   Depending on the number of units in each property,
these foreclosures could impact between 9,644 and 28,923 housing
units.

File Icon Foreclosure Crisis Impacts Chicago’s Rental Housing Market

Unfortunately, foreclosures on
rental buildings are not evenly distributed across the city, but rather
concentrated in certain neighborhoods, particularly in lower-income and minority
communities.  In West Garfield
Park
, over 86 percent of
the 2007 foreclosure filings were on
these multi-family buildings.  In North
Lawndale
, nearly 80 percent of the 2007 foreclosure filings were on
multi-family buildings. 

Keeping these units in service makes
good sense, not just in a short term effort to stem the neighborhood costs of
mounting foreclosures, but as part of a coordinated, long term strategy to keep
thousands of affordable apartments available for working families.  In a
regional effort to reverse the loss of affordable multi-family properties, the
Preservation
Compact
, led by the Urban Land Institute, has launched a
comprehensive Rental
Housing Action Plan
for the region, designed to preserve
and improve 75,000 existing affordable rental homes by 2020 that might otherwise be lost to
foreclosure, condo conversion, or rent increases.

As the number of foreclosures on
small multifamily properties grows, these initiatives and others like them need
to be in place to help municipal governments, non-profit agencies, and the
private sector work together and keep these units active in the rental market.
Without such vehicles, large inventories of potentially usable buildings will
remain vacant, and mounting foreclosures will continue to reverse decades of
hard work to keep the
Chicago region
housing vital and affordable.

Ada
Skyles

Chairperson
Woodstock
Institute

And

Rich
Hanson

Co-Chair
Preservation
Compact