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The program is one of the recommendations of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “Five-Year Housing Plan,” which will direct $1.3 billion in public spending from 2014-2018 to create, improve, and preserve more than 41,000 units of housing citywide.
The program is operating on a pilot basis. Up to two lots are available per application. Applicants must own property on the same block; be current on property taxes; and have no financial obligations to the City, among other requirements.
Lots proposed for purchase must be owned by the City, be vacant, and have residential (R) zoning, among other requirements.
Properties will be sold “as is” via a Quit Claim deed.
The lots may be used to expand the yards of existing homes, for beautification, for gardens, for housing, and other uses permitted by current zoning regulations. Successful applicants must maintain ownership of lots purchased through the program for at least five years.
Frequently Ask Questions
How long is the application process?
The process from application to closing takes approximately 9-12 months.
How does the City communicate with applicants?
Email is the primary form of communication used by the Large Lot Program. Applicants must provide an email address in order to apply. Information regarding application status will be sent to applicants via the email address they provided. You will receive a confirmation email once your application has been submitted.
How will applications be evaluated?
The main point of evaluation is to assess the completeness of the application and proof of ownership.
The City mainly denies applications for the following reasons:
- No deed provided and we could not find proof of ownership
- Name on deed does not match the name of applicant
- Applicant does not own property on the Large Lot definition of “block”
- Chicago City Council does not support the sale of the lot
- Applicant failed to submit an EDS
- Applicant has outstanding debt to the City
- Applicant lost the lottery
How many times can I apply?
Only one application will be accepted per property deed. If you own multiple properties in the pilot area, you can submit one application per property. If you have a deed with multiple grantors listed, only one application can be submitted.
What happens if the same lot is applied for by different people/organizations?
If there are multiple applications for the same lot, owners of adjacent properties will take priority. In the case of a tie, the City will host an in-person lottery to determine the chosen applicant.
Where can I get help in filling out my application?
Read more about this program on the City of Chicago website. Direct questions to the Chicago Department of Planning and Development:
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