Section 8 vouchers: Do shady participants equal a bad program?

One of the great longtime subscribers to this blog, Anneliese, reached out to me via email about my recent post “Chicago’s ‘Ending Veterans Homelessness Initiative.'”  She had some questions about the Sec 8/Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program and rental vouchers in general.  Anneliese made some great points and raised some great questions, so I asked... Read more »

The magical mystical Cook County Land Bank lures homebuyers

The magical mystical Cook County Land Bank lures homebuyers
. . . . . . . . . . . Check out my previous post on the CCLBA: “Wait, did you say you just WAIVED all the taxes?   The Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) site even goes so far as to suggest sources of down payment assistance for first time homebuyers.  By... Read more »

Chicago's "Ending Veterans Homelessness Initiative"

More than just being a landlord, I’m a person who is interested both in information science and broader issues related to housing.  So I have the privilege of being on a lot of listservs.  Recently I received the following evite: The Ending Veterans Homelessness Initiative cordially invites you to the Veterans HOUSING FAIR Friday, August... Read more »
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Wait, did you say you just WAIVED all the taxes?

Wait, did you say you just WAIVED all the taxes?
  Ever notice a nice-looking house or building which has been vacant for years and no one seems to know why?  You might assume that even though the outside of the structure is attractive, surely the inside must be a wreck (busted pipes, moldy walls, nests of raccoons and possums swapping stories about the good... Read more »

Ride a trolley, sip a cocktail, change a neighborhood

Ride a trolley, sip a cocktail, change a neighborhood
    This past Saturday I went on a semi-annual trolley tour of the Auburn Gresham neighborhood sponsored by Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GAGDC).  The purpose of this booster tour was to show first time homebuyers (and maybe even investors) great deals on houses in the area.  I grew up there.  My mom and dad... Read more »

Top five phrases to get a landlady out of her knickers

Top five phrases to get a landlady out of her knickers
I was having a text conversation with my sweetheart and he asked me about one of my rental properties. I told him I was in the process of making some improvements to a recently vacated unit to attract higher quality residents. I was doing some significant work like replacing the kitchen cabinets and getting the... Read more »
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On holograms, stabilizing neighborhoods and the wolf you feed

On holograms, stabilizing neighborhoods and the wolf you feed
On a whim, I recently attended a workshop on ways to strengthen my long-term financial profile.  What I learned was more than just the factual info slated on the agenda.  It reminded me that we all have “glass-half-empty” and “glass-half-full” elements to our personalities.  The side which is likely to grow and guide your life... Read more »

When violence is all around you should you live or just exist?

When violence is all around you should you live or just exist?
Since Saturday, I’ve been wanting to write to you about the “monumental thing that happened to me” on the way home last week.  I was excited to tell you and I wanted to share with you the information.  But every time I try to think of the best way to say it my mind can’t... Read more »

A monumental thing happened on the way home last night

Title:  A monumental thing happened on the way home last night   Last night, I had plans to visit Ravinia.  I had been eagerly anticipating this live concert/picnic-style trip since the weather started to turn the corner toward summer.  My summer tradition is to pick up my free tickets from Chicago Public Library every year... Read more »
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Like everything else there are many sides to squatting

Working title: Do squatters help or hurt challenged neighborhoods?, Pt. 3 My friends laid out for me the reasons why they believed squatters have the right idea after my question in the previous post: They talked of the critical shortage of affordable housing in Chicago (in livable condition). They talked of the overabundance of properties... Read more »