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Matt Kreis serves as General Counsel at the Center for Community Progress (Community Progress), America’s nonprofit leader for turning “Vacant Spaces into Vibrant Places.”
In addition to acting as the organization’s in-house counsel, Kreis provides legal and technical support to each of Community Progress’ program areas, including National Technical Assistance, Michigan Initiatives, National Leadership and Education, and Policy and Research.
Prior to joining Community Progress, Kreis spent nearly a decade as an attorney at the City of Chicago’s Department of Law. At the City, he focused on identifying, developing and implementing effective code enforcement tools to combat blight and problem properties. Kreis worked closely with multiple City departments to create a mobile, electronic code enforcement tool, which enabled inspectors to more quickly and efficiently identify blight and related health and safety violations. Kreis also worked with City and elected officials to craft and propose legislation designed to improve property conditions and efficiency throughout the City, trained code inspectors from the Department of Streets & Sanitation on the proper use of local law in enforcement efforts, and provided general advice and guidance to various Department Commissioners and their deputies on a range of related matters.
Understanding the critical role of code enforcement, Kreis was instrumental in the creation and supervision of an in-house group of attorneys and law clerks dedicated to the completion of tens of thousands of annual title reports used to support ownership and due process requirements for the majority of the City’s enforcement of building and sanitation codes. Ultimately, however, it was Kreis’ direct interactions with the neighbors and residents most impacted by vacant, abandoned, and dilapidated properties in Chicago that led him to Community Progress, and to focus his practice on helping communities impacted by decades of disinvestment develop more equitable, effective, and efficient systems, laws, and policies to revitalize neighborhoods.
Kreis earned his J.D from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and his B.A. from Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. He is based in Chicago.