On June 28, the Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) launched a campaign called Our Home, Chicago. Highlighting support from several Chicago aldermen, the campaign included a press release, press conference, social media blitz, and several articles in the Chicago Tribune. Even more impressive, CHI worked with aldermen to create and propose two ordinances, including:
Increase Transparency and Reporting: CHA will report to the Committee on Housing and Real Estate on its available resources, vacant and offline housing ward-by-ward, its voucher utilization rate, its progress building replacement public housing across all neighborhoods, and the number of section 3 jobs created to help low-income families progress economically.
Advance City De-segregation Goals, end Exclusionary Development Rooted in Racism: Mandates 20% of future public housing units be sited in low-poverty areas of the city. Provides expedited review and evidence-based approval for Planned Unit Development proposals with affordable housing in wards with less than 10% affordable housing.
Prevent “Opt-Outs”: Remove the option for developers to pay “in lieu of” fees instead of providing the affordable units on site in their buildings. If developers are allowed to opt-out, especially in higher-market areas, they inevitably will because it is cheaper. With our amendments, the ARO will do what was intended- create genuine inclusionary development.
Permanent Affordability: Units produced under the ARO will be affordable in perpetuity.
Generate More Affordable Units: Require developers of market-rate housing seeking upzoning approval from the City for 10+ units to include 30% affordable housing in their developments.
Create Real Affordability: Provide rents that are truly affordable to minimum wage workers, seniors, people with disabilities, families of color. For upzoning requests seeking approval for 10+ units:
Create Family-Sized Apartments: The ARO only generated 22 three-bedroom apartments from 2007 & 2017. Until we start creating family affordable housing, the ARO is worth very little.