Chicago amasses $619,000 in vacant building fines

May 7, 2012

Associated Press

Officials say Chicago will hire more inspectors to investigate thousands of outstanding complaints about vacant properties citywide.

The news comes as the city assessed more than $600,000 in fines against more than 150 financial institutions in the first three months of this year for not following the city's vacant building ordinance.

The ordinance took effect late last year. It requires the Federal Housing Finance Agency to register vacant buildings with the city and pay fines if the properties aren't properly maintained. However, the agency has filed a lawsuit to exempt properties with mortgages held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the ordinance helps the city in hiring additional inspectors to investigate more than 6,000 outstanding complaints about vacant properties throughout Chicago.