Explore our content

All types | All dates | All authors
Bridget Gainer


PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Thu Apr 28

Cook County Officials Press For Action On Youth Unemployment To Combat Chicago Violence

At a state hearing Thursday, Cook County commissioners urged for action on youth unemployment policies to help address gun violence in Chicago.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Jul 11, 2014

FHFA: 36,000 Underwater Chicago-Area Homeowners Eligible For Refinance Program (VIDEO)

Thousands of Chicago-area residents are eligible for, but have not taken advantage of, the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, which provides refinance opportunities for certain underwater homeowners.

Nearly 36,000 borrowers in the Chicago metro area are eligible to save between $2,000 to $3,000 annually by refinancing their mortgages as part of the program, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Jul 1, 2013

Vacant Building Registries Lack Key Data, New Report Shows

Local municipalities should ramp up vacant–building data collection to help address a problem that continues to ravage Chicago–area communities due to the foreclosure crisis, according to a new report from the Woodstock Institute.
The "Deciphering Blight" report looked at the wide–ranging data that 47 local governments in the Chicago six–county region currently collect through their vacant property registries.
According to the report, a majority of the local governments kept thorough data on the parties responsible for vacant buildings. And more than half kept track of a property’s unique identifier like a PIN number.
But more than half of the municipalities did not collect data on the nature of the vacancy, and many vacant building registries lacked other key information. 
PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
Fri May 10, 2013

Women Speak Out On CPS School Closings & Immigration Reform As Mother's Day Weekend Begins (VIDEO)

Including the voice of women, and particularly mothers, in pending issues across the city, state, and country is increasingly important, according to several organizations which saw the start of Mother’s Day weekend as an opportunity to advocate for their causes.

Quick Hit
by Steven Ross Johnson
Tue Jan 22, 2013

A Look At What The Cook County Land Bank Hopes To Accomplish

In an effort to reverse the problems that have cropped up in a number of communities over recent years as a result of the rise in vacant and abandoned properties, the Cook County Board voted last week to create a countywide land bank, a move Board Commissioner Bridget Gainer is hopeful will act as a first step towards economic revitalization for some of the area’s most blighted neighborhoods.

Last week, the Cook County Board voted unanimously in favor of forming the Cook County Land Bank Authority, which will be tasked with acquiring vacant and abandoned properties with the goal of making them taxable entities once they’re redeveloped.

Once up and running, the Authority will be geograpically the largest land bank in the country. Gainer said much of its focus, in the beginning, will be on helping communities that have been hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.

“One of the things that I worried about when we traveled all over the county talking to people in these communities was that some of these communities are going to hit a point of no return with the percentage of vacancies,” Gainer said. “We’ve got to jump in and stop that from happening.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Jan 11, 2013

Chicago Public Forum Peers Into The Murky Future Of Pension Reform

It’s not yet clear what pension reform will look like for Illinois, but more public education will help lead to a solution that’s fair for everybody, elected officials stressed at a pension town hall in Chicago Thursday night.  

North Side lawmakers, Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th), State Rep. Ann Williams (D-Chicago) and Cook County Commissioners Bridget Gainer and John Fritchey, hosted the public meeting in order to focus the contentious and often confusing pension dialogue.

“If the conversation continues to be greedy public servants versus people busting pensions, I think we’re never going to have a reasonable conversation,” Pawar said to the crowd of more than 50 at St. Benedict Prep High School.