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Report for America is a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.

City Requires Hunter Properties to Sell Apartment Buildings

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco
Yolanda Arrington Comments on Living Conditions at Hunter Properties

The DeKalb City Council on Monday voted unanimously on a settlement to require Hunter Properties to sell some of its holdings.



The DeKalb City Council delivered an agreement requiring the controversial landlord to sell four of its apartment buildings. City Manager Bill Nicklas said that the only solution to years of Hunter’s scores of violations and unpaid fines is a change in ownership.


“We truly believe that until there is a sale of these properties that these issues are going to continue," said Nicklas, "and continue in the same regular pattern that they have for three years.”


Hunter’s mandated divestment requires that the property owner retain a third party real estate broker to list the properties. Hunter must also place $150,000 in escrow for each of the properties, and must turnover a portion of the money for each property that fails to sell within the 42 month time period. 


According to the settlement, the City of Dekalb remains fully within its right to continue enforcing city code on all Hunter properties. 


In the meantime Hunter is asked to begin making improvements to the properties suggested by the city’s building, fire and police departments.



  • Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.


Juanpablo covers environmental, substandard housing and police-community relations. He’s been a bilingual facilitator at the StoryCorps office in Chicago. As a civic reporting fellow at City Bureau, a non-profit news organization that focuses on Chicago’s South Side, Ramirez-Franco produced print and audio stories about the Pilsen neighborhood. Before that, he was a production intern at the Third Coast International Audio Festival and the rural America editorial intern at In These Times magazine. Ramirez-Franco grew up in northern Illinois. He is a graduate of Knox College.
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