CHICAGO (CBS) — All across Chicago, we’re now seeing more of the debris left behind when the housing market bubble burst. Thousands of foreclosed and abandoned homes are turning into squalid eyesores. They’re driving down the values of neighboring homes and its costing taxpayer money to clean them up.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.
Take a look inside a rapidly crumbling old building in the 5400 block of South State street. The otherwise homeless man who drinks, cooks, eats and sleeps there allowed us to see the surroundings of his life. It is anything but clean and pretty. In fact, it is a squalid mess.
The original owner abandoned the mortgage and the place years ago, then died. Now the city of Chicago and the taxpayers have the responsibility for keeping it sealed up and clean.
3rd Ward Alderman Pat Dowell says “We really don’t have enough people to monitor and do everything that’s necessary. We cleaned up this lot two weeks ago.
Now, the lot is a garbage strewn mess.
Up on the North side, in the 30th ward, the story is the same. Squatters have moved into a foreclosed home in the 2900 block of Ridgeway and made it their own. The squalor is a mirror image of the house on the South side.
Neighbor Barbara Brucgo doesn’t like it.
“Too much bums sleeping,” she complains, “and too much drink and maybe narcotics.”
Alderman Ariel Reboyas, like Alderman Dowell, says he does not have the personnel to keep up with the properties.
Last year, there were ten thousand foreclosures in the city, up 16 percent. In the third ward the rate went up 25 percent, in the 30th ward, it went up 20 percent.
Reboyas fears it will double by the end of 2011.
There is a bill before the Illinois Senate that would give cities the authority to hold banks and real estate companies responsible for the upkeep of foreclosed properties. It faces powerful opposition from those industries.