Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Thursday he hopes the Large Lot Pilot Program will help return empty land in the neighborhood to productive use.
“Residents and block clubs will use the land to expand the yards around their homes, to create gardens on their block, or for beautification, housing, or for other purposes,” Emanuel said.
To qualify, applicants must own property on the same block in the pilot area, be current on property taxes, and have no financial obligations to the city. Lots proposed for purchase must be owned by the city, be vacant and have residential zoning.
Property owners can purchase up to two parcels of land for $1 each.
The program is the first initiative implemented as part of Emanuel’s “Five-Year Housing Plan,” which aims to invest $1.3 billion over four years to create, improve and preserve 41,000 units of housing.
Department of Planning & Development Commissioner Andrew Mooney said the application and sales process will likely take “a matter of weeks, versus the six-month or longer time frames currently required by the city’s existing land sale programs.”
“It is neighborhood improvement from the ground up,” he said.
Properties will be sold “as is” via a quit claim deed.
Program applications and the pilot area boundaries will available for 30 days on the City’s web site at www.cityofchicago.org/dpd.