Like the name suggests, zombie properties are often abandoned homes with no one living in them. Banks have foreclosed on them, but didn’t follow through with completion. Brandis Friedman takes a look at why that happens, the impact on the community, and what can be done. Read an article, watch a web extra video, and view a map of zombie properties in Chicago.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart plans to eradicate abandoned and blighted homes throughout the county, using county boot camp labor. What community is he starting with? Brandis Friedman has the story. Read an article and view a slideshow.

Boarded up homes; distressed neighborhoods -- Chicago is struggling to deal with the fallout of the foreclosure crisis on top of depopulation on the south and west sides. The city is tearing down abandoned properties that are magnets for crime. But what else can be done to reshape troubled areas? We talk with Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, who spearheaded the creation of the Cook County Land Bank, and Marshall Brown, an architect, urban planner and professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.