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Emanuel Backs Ordinance Requiring Upkeep Of Vacant Buildings

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Banks and other lenders would be forced to maintain vacant foreclosed buildings like these under a proposed ordinance backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (Credit: CBS)

Banks and other lenders would be forced to maintain vacant foreclosed buildings like these under a proposed ordinance backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday threw his support behind a long-stalled measure that would force banks and other lenders to maintain the properties on which they foreclose.

The sponsor of the proposed ordinance, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), said foreclosed eyesores benefit no one – either lenders or those who live around them. Despite that, she said, she has had trouble getting any traction behind her proposed ordinance until now.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, Dowell first proposed the measure 18 months ago.

“With this, I’m hopeful we can hold these banks, mortgage companies, financiers accountable in our communities,” she said. “the must clean up their property. They must board up their property. they must be responsible for their property.”

The measure would require lenders from keeping vacant properties from deteriorating. In addition to making sure they remain boarded up, the lenders would have to respond to complaints, mow lawns and shovel snow.

“These homes are not in limbo,” Mayor Emanuel said. “They’re not in limbo in the communities, they’re not in limbo in the neighborhoods and you cannot leave the rest of the people whoa re paying their mortgages in that position.”

He said his goal is to minimize the financial hit that neighboring property owners will face because of having a foreclosed property adjacent to them.

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