SHERIFF DART, VILLAGE OF DIXMOOR PARTNER TO RENEW, REVITALIZE AREA
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
—Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart and Dixmoor Village Mayor Dorothy Armstrong announced a partnership today to address abandoned properties in the village, starting with a 23-unit townhouse complex that has been an eyesore for years.
The Sheriff’s RENEW program – Restoring Neighborhoods Workforce – began deconstructing the townhouse complex this week as part of a broader plan to identify, clear and secure other vacant properties in the village. The townhouse complex, located at 14300 S. Wood St., just down the street from a park, has been a problem for years, drawing squatters and crime.
RENEW has also moved beyond the townhouse complex, identifying every vacant house in the village. Sheriff staff are now working closely with village officials to determine which of the 58 properties require landscape maintenance and boarding up.
The townhouse complex is the largest project to date for RENEW, which since its formation in December has deconstructed 12 houses across Dolton, Chicago Heights and Ford Heights. Sentenced inmates are trained in deconstruction techniques to work on the projects, helping them gain job skills.
“This project will remove blight and help the inmates learn marketable skills that could lead to future employment after they leave my custody,” Dart said. “Vacant properties can be a haven for crime and hamper economic revitalization by lowering nearby property values.”
The Village of Dixmoor has been a true partner, supplying work crews, equipment and dumpsters.
“We’re very happy to see this eyesore coming down,” Mayor Armstrong said. “For years the residents wanted to see these townhouses torn down.”