CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Saturday was promoting a plan to reduce vacant properties, create affordable housing, and stop people from losing their homes.

“When people lose their homes, it doesn’t affect just them,” Preckwinkle said. “Vacant and abandoned properties hurt whole neighborhoods by creating unsafe conditions and further disinvestment.”

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Preckwinkle joined several county commissioners and Chicago aldermen Saturday for a ribbon-cutting in Englewood.

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They toured an apartment building there that was recently renovated after being vacant for 15 years.

The local leaders are calling for state lawmakers to pass the Homeowner Relief and Community Recovery Act, which is designed to transform vacant properties into homes and put them back on the tax rolls.

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They said it will also help families keep their homes by reducing predatory interest rates.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff