Cook County Board president Tony Preckwinkle, third from left, tours NSP2 sites.

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On Jan. 26, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle toured part of Evanston’s west side, which is benefiting from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2).

Evanston was awarded $18 million under the NSP2 program to acquire and rehabilitate 100 foreclosed properties. These properties will be sold or rented to income-eligible households. As a second part of the project, the City plans to purchase and redevelop a vacant tract of property just south of Fleetwood-Jordain Community Center with 60 units as Emerson Square, a mixed-income community.

Brinshore Development LLC, the City’s private partner on the NSP2 projects, and the City have been purchasing two or three foreclosed properties on a block, said David Brint, principal of Brinshore. Rehabbing the properties has “change[d] the tenor of individual blocks.” The rehab process is stimulating neighbors to invest in their own homes, he said.

Mr. Brint added that the project is on target to complete the purchase of 100 units this month and to complete the rehab of all those units by next February.

Jolene Saul, who directly oversees the NSP2 project for the City, said the first NSP2 home was sold in January. “We’re starting to see the fruits of our labor,” she said. Ms. Preckwinkle told the RoundTable she had served as a local elected official before serving on Cook County’s Board, and she realized how important it is to invest in troubled blocks. Buying foreclosed homes and rehabbing them as Evanston was doing is important in rejuvenating the neighborhoods, she added.

Ms. Preckwinkle toured the site of the Emerson Square project, as well as homes that had been rehabbed in the 1800 blocks of Brown Avenue and Grey Avenue under the NSP2 project. She was accompanied by Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, Alderman Delores Holmes, 5th Ward, Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, and Dennis Marino, manager of planning and zoning for the City.