Published on Jul 01, 2014
LargeLots.org is back - this time in East Garfield Park! If you own land in this west side Chicago neighborhood, you can buy up two vacant lots from the City of Chicago for $1 each.
With the success of the Large Lot Program this spring in the Greater Englewood Area (414 applications received!) LISC Chicago and DataMade are continuing their collaboration with the City of Chicago to make the application process even easier.
We spent a lot of time simplifying this application process and removing everything that was non-essential. This time around, instead of requiring residents to print, fill out, and mail many paper forms, the entire application process is online.
Applicants are able to browse and select lots right off the website map, to be added directly to their application.
Furthermore, the Economic Disclosure Statement, which is required by anyone doing business with the City of Chicago, and a challenge for many applicants to fill out, can be submitted later after their application has been accepted.
To prove property ownership on a block in East Garfield Park, applicants must supply a copy of their deed. Those who already have a copy can simply take and upload a picture of it with their phone or camera. Those without a copy will need to navigate the Cook County Recorder of Deeds’ byzantine website and pay $4.00 to get a PDF copy. That process is unfortunately out of our control, but we did provide step by step instructions to help.
At DataMade, we believe that interactions with government processes should be simple, straightforward, and delightful to users. We think we achieved that here: if an applicant already has their property deed handy, the application process should take less than 5 minutes.
For those who need assistance filling out their online applications, LISC Chicago was able to secure funding for Cyber Navigators in three Chicago Public Libraries: Legler Library, Manning Library, and Richard M. Daley Library. The Cyber Navigators will all have extended hours during the application window.
LargeLots.org was made possible and built using open data from Chicago and Cook County. You can get this data too:
Like all DataMade projects, we built LargeLots.org completely in the open - all of the code is open source and available on Github for anyone to copy, reuse, and learn from.
As residents of East Garfield Park start to use the online application, DataMade will be standing by to make updates to the application where needed. If something is not behaving intuitively, it is a bug and needs to be addressed. If you notice an issue with the application, get in touch with us at email@example.com.
So, East Garfield Park residents, go apply for a lot!