Robert C. Larson Awards Winner: City of Chicago, Illinois
June 9, 2016
Location: City of Chicago, Illinois
Program: Troubled Buildings Initiative
Institution: Department of Planning and Development
Website: City of Chicago, Troubled Buildings Initiative
Through its Troubled Buildings Initiative, Chicago has acted aggressively to acquire and improve run-down buildings that pose a threat to communities—and instead rehabilitate vacant and abandoned structures to provide critically needed low-cost housing. Multiple city agencies work with well-established community-based groups to move buildings from code enforcement to improved physical condition and management rather than to abandonment and demolition. These efforts have preserved more than 16,000 rental and for-sale units across the city. Participating city agencies include not just the Department of Housing and Economic Development and Department of Buildings, but also the Police Department, Department of Law, Department of Administrative Hearings, Department of Family and Support Services, and Department of Water Management.