Tearing Down Houses Faster Than We Can Build Them

Freeport, Illinois — Did anyone ever think the day would come where the news of the day is that the city of Freeport is demolishing homes?

If we had to guess, probably not.

According to multiple sources, city leaders in Freeport have another hefty goal in 2018, this year to demolish 80 homes in the city. Last year about $240,000 of your tax dollars were used to pay for these demolitions, including grant money the city received.

A list of properties and the exact number of homes to be demolished is not avilable at this time.

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46 thoughts on “Tearing Down Houses Faster Than We Can Build Them

  • January 5, 2018 at 9:34 pm
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    Keep the good homes and eliminate the bad ones that are not fit for humans to live in. We have a lot of bad housing owned by slum lords and we should protect
    People from these unsafe living conditions. Public housing is much nicer than many freeport unkept properties. Some of the worst ones surround the edges of downtown. Also many unfit properties in the Taylor park flood plain. we have plenty of nice homes that are maintained by land lords

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    • January 6, 2018 at 5:01 pm
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      Pretty sure public housing is paying ZERO property tax therefore contributing nothing to the community (schools fire department ambulance services ect) so how are landlords going to compete with fair rents and maintain their property and pay their taxes and this screwed up county charges more for taxes on rental because its revenue generating

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    • January 6, 2018 at 5:45 pm
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      Sometimes you can’t compete when a property needs so much work you can’t recover the cost in rent. Sell or tear down

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  • January 5, 2018 at 9:45 pm
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    Better to get rid of the junk houses. I would rather see an open lot then a house falling apart. We must go through the tare down process to then begin the build up ☺️

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  • January 5, 2018 at 9:45 pm
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    As much as it pains me to see these homes gone….I’d rather see them taken down before they come down on their own. I honestly wish the property owners would take better care of them, however, time and poor living conditions are often the cause of these homes coming to these states… as a former land lord, the law allowed the tenants to pretty much do whatever they wanted at my expense. Would be nice if these homes could be reclaimed…. Freeport needs to retain its history and take back it’s pride.

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    • January 5, 2018 at 10:28 pm
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      In addition to demolition there needs to be a city program to make low interest loans for home repairs so that we don’t have to spend so much money on tearing down homes in disrepair

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    • January 6, 2018 at 5:36 am
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      USDA Rural Development has a home repair program and I believe Freeport is an eligible area.

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  • January 5, 2018 at 10:24 pm
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    I would like to see the landlords be more responsible for the properties that they own. Some of them just let them go until there is nothing left of them. I call them slumlords. Because they don’t fix them when they need it.

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    • January 5, 2018 at 11:52 pm
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      Julie Wells Atz very true. Freeport is just going to dry up and float away.LOL

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    • January 6, 2018 at 3:08 am
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      Or if one is purchased to be rehabbed, it usually takes time and money. Not like HGTV. The City starts giving out ordinance tickets to those people. :(

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    • January 6, 2018 at 1:07 pm
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      Stephanie Smith Most of the people that are buying these houses are landlords that are picking them up for a little . Put just enough in them to rent them out. They know from the beginning that there is maintenance to these homes and don’t keep them up.

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  • January 6, 2018 at 5:28 am
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    If You let your property become trash , You should be fined hard and made to clean it up or forfeit the property.

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  • January 6, 2018 at 2:05 pm
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    I’ve always said the tax system is backwards…if you improve your property you should have lower taxes. It would give everyone more of an incentive to improve their properties. Its 100% counter productive to raise taxes when your make your property nicer…

    If this were true the state would probably end up with more money considering how man poor properties there are in Illinois.

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    • January 6, 2018 at 2:13 pm
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      So you are basically saying you should fine poorer people who can’t afford to fix up their homes?

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    • January 6, 2018 at 3:53 pm
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      More of an incentive to keep up your property…just because you are poor doesn’t mean you can’t pick up garbage or at least put effort into bettering your house…

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    • January 6, 2018 at 4:42 pm
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      We tend to agree with this. It just makes sense from a wealthy or poor standpoint that if you make your property nicer, your taxes should decrease, not increase.

      Your property taxes are going to be what they are when you purchase your home. However, for those who don’t have a lot of money, the knowledge that if you do spend your hard earned money on fixing up your home, that it’s only going to cost you more in taxes, is probably going to prevent you from fixing up your home. Why would anyone who doesn’t have a lot of money, opt to increase their expenses?

      However, if you don’t have a lot of money and you know that if you fix up your home you could ‘save’ money, more people would invest in their home. The system, (like so many other government systems) seems counterproductive.

      Hence, the demolition of 200 homes in two years.

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    • January 6, 2018 at 4:48 pm
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      Well said, Barry. My house looks a little shabby, But I keep the yard mowed and clean, my front porch isn’t stacked with crap (HUGE pet peeve) and I’ve planted cheap shrubbery around the front and back. Makes a difference! All it takes is a little effort. Just wish a couple of my neighbors made the same effort.

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    • January 6, 2018 at 7:31 pm
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      There is a difference between picking up garbage and finishing a basement or putting on an addition. I am sorry, picking up garbage isn’t going to increase your taxes.

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    • January 6, 2018 at 10:01 pm
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      We put new roof, siding, windows, doors and deck on our cabin which is north of the IL border. Guess what? Our taxes went DOWN!

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  • January 6, 2018 at 2:46 pm
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    Whatever happened to NHS and Habitat for Humanity? Most of those buying these homes are out of Towners that plan to rent these to people who cannot get Home loans while they get these houses in tax sales. They have no intention of maintaining upkeep on these homes but are trying to make money off of renters.

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    • January 6, 2018 at 4:49 pm
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      There was some funny money things going on with Habitat for Humanity, board members allegedly pulling some shady things with property so from what we were told, Habitat for Humanity corporate stepped in and pretty much shut them down. It is the reason, in part, the former Habitat for Humanity retail store located by the Lincoln Mall, is no longer the Habitat for Humanity store. It’s still a store, it’s just not Habitat for Humanity any longer.

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    • January 6, 2018 at 4:58 pm
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      Oh, well that figures. There’s always gonna be someone to screw up a good thing with greed. Sheesh!

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  • January 7, 2018 at 2:34 pm
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    What I’ve found is the city is demolishing the homes and someone out of Machenry county is buying all of the Lord for $600 at the tax sale. Most of the land is on the east side. If it’s such a flood zone why are people buying the land?

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    • January 7, 2018 at 6:29 pm
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      anybody can buy these properties. Maybe someone has a plan to renovate the east side.

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    • January 7, 2018 at 8:24 pm
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      Exactly!!!!! No funds are available for the current residence to restore their properties. 1. Because they live in a flood zone and 2. If they do manage to get funding then it’s 25% LTV. Yet someone is buying land on the east side. Investors don’t grow money away. They look to make at least 18% ROI

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  • January 7, 2018 at 3:21 pm
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    I have wanted to come back to Freeport in 2 years when I retire. What might hold me back is the same thing that has people moving out of Freeport and that is the high property taxes and crime. I live in a eastern suburb of Cleveland and have for 7 years I pay half the taxes for a comparable house in Freeport the sales taxes are lower in fact if I go to a restaurant it’s 6.5% tax and no tax if I don’t eat in the restaurant. Income tax is about the same. Illinois is in debit and Ohio isn’t. There is a lot of positive things about Freeport to many to list here but in retirement you need to keep in mind the financial and safety picture. It’s to bad in my mind Freeport is a wonderful town.

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  • January 7, 2018 at 5:04 pm
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    The people who owned these property’s have been allowed to walk away from them, leaving them a mess and for all of the rest of us to pay for their demolition and disposal. Those people (slumlords or not) should somehow be held financially responsible for those costs. Additionally, they’re in the blighted neighborhoods that no one wants to invest in or live because there are still properties in the process of going in the same direction. Until Freeport and it’s many residents “see the light” and stop acting like our town needs to be a virtual sanctuary city, I believe the changes others of us would like to see, are going to take an extraordinary amount of time.

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  • January 7, 2018 at 8:42 pm
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    Problem not exclusive to Freeport. Rockford has 6000 potential vacant abandoned properties with about 1400 qualified for demolition. It would take decades to demolish them all.

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  • January 8, 2018 at 1:57 am
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    Maybe residents should get the economy going with innovative services and products, which leads to business. Then people would come instead of leaving. Complaining does nothing but exacerbate the problem
    Trying to find scapegoats is hilariously dumb

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  • January 8, 2018 at 6:15 pm
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    We were kicked out of our home by the city 2 days before Thanksgiving. our home was condemned. We were given no option to fix it. We had to fight with lawyers just to get to go back a week later and get our things out. The city inspector is a jerk who tries to keep people out so he can take and sell their things. The city isn’t interested in helping people. We had to move away to live with family and they are going to tear down our home. None of their reasons were valid. They’re simply in a land grab. They left 5 children homeless 2 days before a holiday. Today I find out the HS had a bomb threat. I’m actually grateful to be out of that dead-end town before it implodes. The city management is a joke. Good luck Freeport, because your politicians don’t give a rats butt about you.

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  • January 9, 2018 at 3:56 am
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    This has been going on for almost 2 years. Contacted the Mayor, City Manager, Street Dept, and even Today in the Port. Meanwhile the hole gets bigger and deeper

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  • January 10, 2018 at 12:07 am
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    We moved to Freeport in 1965 and there were 26,000 people there then. When we moved to Florida in 77 there were 26,000

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