The Chicago City Council approved a new city program on Wednesday set to offer vacant lots to affordable housing developers for as much as a Big Mac.
That’s right – lots will be sold for $1.00.
According to a news release from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office, developers may purchase eight to 20 city-owned lots, each with a maximum appraised value of $125,000, to build single-family and two-flat homes on the South and West sides.
City officials say the total number of homes to be built will depend on market demand; they also said profit margins for developers will depend on a number of factors, including design costs, contracting costs and other variables.
Once the homes are built, according to the plan, they will be sold to qualified buyers with incomes up to 140 percent of area median income. Buyers will further be required to use the home as their primary residence for at least five years.
The city is said to be working on additional plans to streamline acquisition processes and reduce permit fees to make sales to developers easier, as well as encourage greater participation among small and minority developers.
“Land acquisition costs are some of the biggest barriers to the development of new homes,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.
He continued by explaining how eliminating such costs, would boost construction and support “more jobs and more economic development in our neighborhoods.”