Presenting Our Findings

By overlapping the foreclosure data with the U.S. Census American Community Survey data we have been able to determine the degree of association between the socio-economic composition of different neighborhoods and the prevalence of foreclosures.

Block groups overview_McLean

U.S. Census Blocks. McLean County, IL.

Block groups overview_Peoria

U.S. Census Blocks. Peoria County, IL.

We have started a series of formal presentations of our findings, the first one in Peoria, October 11th, in front of the Peoria Opportunities Foundation (POF), the Mid Central Community Action Inc., the Community Preservation Clinic and the Tri-County Planning Commission. You can read a news release here.

Sharing Data

The data that we have gathered for our research relate to the work of a number of non-for-profit organizations.


In the City of Bloomington the Mid Central Community Action Inc. is one of several organizations administering a multi-year housing-related grant from the State of Illinois Attorney General’s Office. You can read a newspaper story about it here. We created a data handout for one of their meetings and plan on getting involved assisting their work. You can see the data handout here.


In the City of Peoria, the Peoria Opportunities Foundation (POF) and the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) are involved in similar grant-funded work. You can read a news release here. We have answered a request for data-sharing with the POF in order to facilitate their work.

Peoria County Data

Peoria_courthouseAfter visiting the Peoria Recorder of Deeds at the Peoria County Courthouse we compiled a list of foreclosure sale deeds. With the generous support of their GIS office Sarah was able to geocode those data points. We are now exploring the possibility of adding more dimensions to our analysis through the help of their IT services.


Attending a Foreclosure Auction

On May 22 Matt, Jake and I attended a foreclosure sale by McLean County’s Sheriff Department at the Law and Justice Center in downtown Bloomington. We learned some more details about the “nuts and bolts” of the process.

Jake and Matt at the McLean Co. Law and Justice Center (May 22, 2013)

Jake and Matt at the McLean Co. Law and Justice Center (May 22, 2013)

We have finished compiling and cleaning the lis pendens and foreclosure data for McLean Co. and they are now in Sarah’s hand for their GIS analysis. We are waiting to hear from the Peoria Recorder of Deeds regarding a data extraction for the data dimensions we would like to study.

Moving Along

We have made great progress on the GIS-side of the project. Sarah has received copies of the files that will allow her to match parcel identification numbers (PINs) to street grids and US Census tracts for both McLean County and Peoria County.

Jake and Matt are busy updating the lis pendends and foreclosure databases for McLean county. Next week we will travel to Peoria to visit the Recorder’s Office and arrange our access to their real estate information.

Gearing Up

Over the last few weeks I completed the paperwork needed to employ Jonathan (Jake) Bates and Matthew (Matt) Bishop as the 2013 PNC Bank Foundation fellows. The GIS consultant for the project will be Sarah Kolbe.

In order to start the data-gathering part of the process we need access to a certain metadata file from the McLean County GIS consortium.

We will set up a work area around an Eno Board on the third floor of CLA and use Dropbox to manage the file-sharing.