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Thousands more vacant Chicago properties are up for grabs

The Cook County Land Bank Authority is selling over 4,400 vacant properties throughout the county

Curbed Chicago Flickr pool/Gabriel X. Michael

While the deadline to apply for one of the many $1 vacant city-owned lots throughout Chicago’s West and South sides has passed, there’s now another opportunity to scoop up a piece of underutilized property. This week, the Cook County Land Bank Authority announced that it is selling 4,451 vacant properties throughout the county in its own vacant lot program.

Unlike the Large Lots program through the city, these properties will cost more than just a buck. However, the program doesn’t have hard restrictions on who can purchase the properties. Instead, successful applicants will pay a $500 non-refundable deposit towards the property and the CCLBA will place a $1,000 forgivable mortgage on the property. If the purchaser properly maintains the property according to municipal code, the mortgage will be released after three years.

A map of the properties being offered by the CCLBA

According to the CCBLA, 35,457 parcels—many which were casualties of the financial crisis of 2008—were sold in December 2015 through the Cook County Scavenger Sale. Of these, the CCBLA acquired the tax certificates of 7,778 properties. Despite having bid on these properties, the CCLBA doesn’t formally own the thousands of properties being offered. However, the vacant lot program allows the CCBLA to clear the red tape and back taxes owned on these properties in order to be given to individuals who may redevelop them according to existing zoning.

For directions to apply for one of the 4,451 vacant properties available, head over to the Cook County Land Bank Authority website. And for easier reference, Chicago Cityscape has built a comprehensive map tool which shows all of the available properties at once.