Chicago selling vacant lots for $1 to improve neighborhoods

Edwardian apartment buildings in Norwood Park, a neighborhood of Chicago on th Far North Side

Edwardian apartment buildings in Norwood Park, a neighborhood of Chicago on th Far North Side

CHICAGO (AP) — More Chicago property owners will have the opportunity to buy vacant lots for just $1.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Tuesday the city is expanding a program to sell vacant city-owned land to nearby property owners. About 4,000 properties will be available on Chicago’s south and west sides.

Emanuel says the program turns vacant property into “neighborhood assets.” He says it’s been driven by residents who want to strengthen their community “block by block.”

Many buyers have cleaned up the lots and turned them into gardens or other recreational areas.

Interested buyers must apply online. The applicant must own land on the same block, be current on paying their property taxes and not owe money to the city for things like parking tickets or water bills.