Austin Open

If you own land in the Austin neighborhood, you can buy up two vacant lots from the City of Chicago for $1 a lot. The lots must be on the same block as land you already own. Individuals and organizations can apply but churches are not eligible. Only one application will be accepted per property deed.

Applications will be accepted between Dec 1st, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. and January 30th, 2015 11:59 p.m.

For more information, read the frequently asked questions (FAQ) page.

1. Browse for and select up to two lots on your block

To get started:

  1. Enter your address above or browse the map to view available lots on your block
  2. Click on a lot on a green lot for details
  3. Select up to two lots for your application

Your selected lots:

Use the map above to search for and select the lot(s) you want to apply for or, enter the lot address and PIN if you know it already. You may apply for up to two lots.

*Required

Lot #1*

Chicago, IL

Lot #2 (optional)

Chicago, IL

2. Proof of ownership on the block

*Required

You'll need to upload a copy of your deed prove that you own property on the same block as the lot(s) you are applying to buy.

Chicago, IL

Upload your deed

To prove ownership of your Austin neighborhood property, you'll have to upload a copy or picture of your property deed.

  1. If you do have a paper copy handy, scan it or take a picture of the first page.
  2. If you don't have a copy, download it from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds for $4.00 or pick it up in person at 118 N Clark St.

The Cook County Recorder of Deeds holds records of property ownership. If your deed was dated before 1985, you will need to pick up your deed in person at 118 N Clark St. If your deed is from after 1985, you can download a scanned version of your property deed by following these steps:

1. Look up your Property Identification Number (PIN)

You will need to know the PIN of your own property. You can look it up by your address on CookCountyPropertyInfo.com.

2. Search records under your PIN

Enter your current PIN here and click Search. You will see a list of various records associated with your PIN.

3. View your deed

Click on the most recent DEED - this will likely be in the first row. Document details will show up on the right side of the page, and a scanned image of your deed will show up in a new window. If you do not see the scanned image, click View Images (make sure pop-ups are allowed).

4. Download your deed as a PDF (this costs $4.00)

Within the pop-up, click Print Document and enter your payment information. Once you are done, you will have the scanned document as a PDF on your computer.

*

Your deed must be in PDF or image (JPG, PNG) format. Max size 5mb.

3. Contact information

*Required

If provided, we'll send you a confirmation email and updates on your application status.

4. Eligibility and Terms

Program Eligibility

  • You can't owe the City any money, including property taxes, water bills, parking tickets, and any other obligations.
  • Churches are not eligible

Buyer responsibilities

  • You will have to pay property taxes based on the assessed value of your lot. See the FAQ for details
  • You must own the lot for at least 5 years before selling it
  • You can't use the lot for commercial purposes

Terms

This application is a Statement of Interest only, and does not guarantee that the City of Chicago will transfer ownership of the lots indicated. If this application gets approved, the City will work with the buyer to close the transaction - the property will be transferred "AS IS" via a Quit Claim Deed. The City maintains the right to condition the transfer of the title on the buyer’s acceptance of certain deed restrictions. Restrictions may be included in the deed to ensure properties are maintained in an agreed upon way. If the buyer fails to maintain the property in an agreed upon way, the City may exercise its discretion and take title to the property back from the buyer.

By checking the box below, I certify that the information provided is correct and true to the best of my knowledge. Falsifying or deliberately omitting any information regarding this application will result in immediate termination from the program and/or the City of Chicago seeking remedies available under law.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Michael Berkshire, Department of Planning and Development
Phone: (312) 744-0605
Email: Michael.Berkshire@cityofchicago.org