Is there any hope for Englewood?

According to the latest Census figures reported by the Chicago Tribune, the population of Englewood declined by nearly 25% since 2000, to 30,587.

In 1960, Englewood had 97,575 residents, more than three times its current population.

According to Census and Postal Service data made available by Chicago Muckrakers, the residential vacancy rate exceeds 30% in several Englewood Census tracts.

The list of Englewood’s problems is well known: frightening levels of crime and gang activity, rampant foreclosures, business abandonment, crumbling infrastructure, environmental problems (video), and troubled schools, for starters.

The median price of the small sample of homes sold in Englewood last month was $9,000, according to Redfin. A renovated two-flat at 5929 S Carpenter St that sold for $21,000 a year ago inexplicably resold for $340,000 earlier this month. I don’t know any of the facts behind this transaction, but suspect it’s not, in any way, a sign of hope for Englewood.

Is there any hope for Englewood? In the above video, I posed that question to Orlando Hill, who grew up in Englewood and returned for a day to help repair his grandmother’s home as part of the Rebuilding Together program.

You can see more YoChicago video from Englewood at this YouTube playlist.

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