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Park Forest Mayor Among Experts To Address Housing Issues

Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg and Village Manager Tom Mick
Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg and Village Manager Tom Mick

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Park Forest has had its share of blighted, abandoned, and vacant properties to deal with through the years. The Village has worked many angles, often employing a combination of ideas and resources to start the process of transforming such properties from liabilities into assets. At the helm for almost two decades, Mayor John Ostenburg has a wealth of experience to draw on in housing issues. On February 21 and 22, he will serve on a panel discussing the topic “Clean It or Lien It: Dealing with Vacant and Blighted Properties” as part of the 2018 Governor’s Conference on Affordable Housing at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The panel scheduled for the 9 to 10:30 a.m. timeslot on February 22.

The conference is sponsored by the Illinois Housing Council (IHC) and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA).

Others invited to serve on the panel are attorney Brent Denzin of the firm Ancel Glink; Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, who also serves as chairperson for the Cook County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA); Geoff Smith of the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University; and Mayor Scott Eisenhower of Danville. Audra Hamernik of the IHDA staff will serve as moderator.

“According to information provided by IHC and IHDA,” Mayor Ostenburg said in a statement, “this workshop will deal with many issues faced by local governments in handling vacant and blighted properties. The session description explains that ‘While some municipalities and counties have bounced back after the great recession, others continue to lag behind with vacant and blighted properties driving down neighboring home values. The creation of community land banks is gaining steam across Illinois to help finance the greening of abandoned properties and revitalization of struggling communities. Come see how the elimination of blight can help your community.'”

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