The Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA) serves one of the largest geographic areas in the country, targeting neighborhoods and communities burdened with long-term tax delinquent property, foreclosures, and other distressed property. Rob Rose and the CCLBA are executing an aggressive and novel strategy for reclaiming thousands of these properties using ePropertyPlus.
In 2015, the CCLBA was faced by an inventory of over 35,000 parcels of property with long-term delinquent taxes. These included vacant lots, shuttered factories and warehouses, and residential properties.
“Long term tax delinquent property impacts the community in many ways, from illegal activity to putting stress on values of other property. The back taxes, interest and penalties can easily exceed the value of properties, making it unlikely anyone will ever acquire and redevelop them,” says Rob Rose, CCLBA Executive Director.
Identifying and acquiring viable properties from such a large potential inventory, then stabilizing them and helping transition them to new owners, is a major undertaking and one full of risks to manage.
- Streamline operations
- Highlight development opportunities
- Promote collaboration & public engagement
- Manage high transaction volume
- Automate complex processes
CCLBA put together the right team, the right approach, and the right inventory management tool as it prepared to go after about 8,000 specific parcels with strategic potential for community and economic redevelopment. They selected ePropertyPlus, a proven solution for large and complex organizations tasked with identifying, acquiring, stabilizing, and transitioning properties through varying disposition strategies.
“ePropertyPlus gets our entire team on the same page. We have been able to standardize reports, data entry, data updates — everything. It makes the entire organization accountable, not just any one person. We can see the status of every individual property or the entire pipeline at any point in time.”
“ePropertyPlus also allows us to engage other entities involved with our properties, including outside vendors and our legal team. We set up standard processes, like closings or asset management processes, as different services in ePropertyPlus. We assign the work to contractors, and then track the service to completion in ePropertyPlus. With vendors having free access to the system, it saves us both time and money by managing them in ePropertyPlus.”
CCLBA’s community outreach and engagement is key to its success. “ePropertyPlus’s public site component lets us offer organizations and individuals a robust platform to find properties and complete online applications without ever having to contact us. It lets us be very transparent and better manage incoming inquiries.”
We have completed over 500 transactions since 2014. We’re tracking property we currently own, plus more than 300 properties we’ve sold. Tracking past sales in ePropertyPlus helps us ensure that the properties we sold are being developed as promised. We are also tracking about 10,000 other data points (properties) to sustain a solid strategic view into our target neighborhoods.”
The aggressive approach is paying dividends all the way around. “In the past, some owners may have stopped paying taxes because they knew the county didn’t have a good process for getting them to pay up. With the right team, approach, and property inventory management system in place, we’ve helped Cook County collect nearly $2 million in delinquent taxes. That’s a great return for the county and did not involve us taking title to any property.”
“ePropertyPlus is critical for managing the volume of data we have. It positions us to deliver more community impact.”
– ROB ROSE
Cook County Land Bank Authority
epropertyplus TM is STR’s award-winning cloud-based SaaS software solution that is designed to help public sector organizations to manage property and community revitalization. epropertyplusTM is GIS-centric and supports transparency, operational efficiency, and public visibility for property and integrates well with other municipal software systems. To learn more, visit our epropertyplusTM website or contact us at (703) 460-9011.