Just as students get ready to head back to class, the city’s buildings department is really paying attention to the abandoned homes that are scattered along the routes the kids walk when they go to school. A lot of those homes are being torn down and left as empty lots.
Last year, 750 buildings were demolished and this year the numbers may be very similar.
WGN revisited two neighborhoods where abandoned homes were cleared out.
Neighbors say they’ve noticed a significant drop in crime. Chicago Police ran the numbers and at one location near 71st and Rhodes, CPD is reporting a 38% drop in crime within a one block radius. Not too far from there, 67th and Laflin, the numbers are even higher with a 56% drop in overall crime.
The Chicago Buildings Department plans to continue its efforts but say demolition is a last resort since it can be costly.
Tearing down a single home can cost between $18,000 and $20,000.