Sweet Home Chicago
CCH is managing partner of Sweet Home Chicago, an affordable housing campaign led by 10 community organizations and one labor union. The Sweet Home Chicago Coalition drafted a key amendment to the city’s 2011 TIF Vacant Building Rehab Ordinance. Now, tax-increment financing (TIF) funds can be made available to redevelop apartment buildings, improving the city’s stock of rental housing.
In 2013, the 11 members of Sweet Home Chicago are Action NOW, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation, CCH, Community Renewal Society, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Organization of the NorthEast (ONE Northside), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois/Indiana, and Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP).
Sweet Home Chicago also works with the Cook County Board on the development of a Cook County land bank that would restore vacant and foreclosed properties countywide. Two representatives from Sweet Home, CCH Policy Director Julie Dworkin and Jeff Bartow, executive director of the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), served on the land bank advisory committee during fall 2012. Julie recently was named to the new Land Bank Board of Directors.
CCH also joined with several Sweet Home partners to work on Keep Chicago Renting. Led by the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, we worked two years to pass a city ordinance in June 2013 that will allow tenants to pay rent and stay housed after a lender has foreclosed on a building owner. Lenders that move to evict rent-paying tenants will be required to pay each household $10,600 for its relocation costs.
More about the TIF Vacant Building Rehab Ordinance:
In designated TIF districts, developers of multi-unit rental housing can apply for TIF funds covering 30% to 50% of purchase/rehab costs. To meet these requirements, developers must rent 30% to 50% of units to households that earn no more than half of Area Median Income (AMI), or $37,700 for a family of four. Sweet Home Chicago works with Chicago’s Department of Housing and Economic Development (DHED) on the designation of TIF districts. In mid-2012, the first funding became available in the Ogden/Pulaski TIF district. Five more districts are under consideration for adoption by the end of 2013.
In July 2012, the Chicago City Council OK’d key amendments to the TIF Building ordinance that the Sweet Home Coalition helped write. To avoid tenant displacement, the ordinance no longer requires a building be vacant. The amended ordinance also allows developers to bundle several smaller buildings (two- to four-flats) into a larger development that can be rehabbed for rental housing. Much of the vacant, foreclosed housing stock in Chicago are smaller buildings. This amendment makes the ordinance as flexible as possible for developers to create rental housing with larger and smaller properties.
Alderman Walter Burnett (27th) was lead sponsor of the original 2011 Sweet Home Chicago ordinance.
For more information, contact Associate Policy Director Eithne McMenamin at (312) 641-4140 or firstname.lastname@example.org