Achievement Award Program

Conversations about Racial Equity and Real Estate Initiative

2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner
Conversations about Racial Equity and Real Estate Initiative
Cook County, Ill.

About the Program

CATEGORY: Civic Education and Public Information
YEAR: 2022
Over the past two years, the Cook County Assessor's Office (Assessor's Office) has been conducting a series of talks to be transparent about how race impacts our work as assessors and discuss the historic and current impacts on local real estate markets. By hosting virtual "Racial Equity and Real Estate" conversations, we gathered experts from Princeton, The University of Chicago, and Duke University with local community developers, realtors, and artists. As a result, a series of rich and unique discussions with thought-leaders happened over several months to elevate the discussion around the relevance and consequences of property tax reform. Topics of discussion included: redlining, contract selling, the wealth and homeownership gap, and racially biased appraisals. We have received numerous amounts of feedback from residents and real estate practitioners that have found the program worthwhile. Our office has also been approached by two authors who are incorporating our policy reforms as a national model in upcoming books. In addition, a University of Chicago professor conducted groundbreaking research on historic inequity in Cook County assessments and the need for reform based on our discussions and data.

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