You read that right: A new law sets the stage for community colleges to build dormitories and apartments that backers say will improve the odds of success for students facing housing insecurity and other challenges.
By Dennis Rodkin and Elyssa Cherney
Now that he’s a member of the Illinois General Assembly, Nick Smith isn’t embarrassed to say he struggled early in college. As he bounced back and forth between classes and his job, he spent little time on campus.
Bring Chicago Home (BCH), a grassroots advocacy organization within the City of Chicago wants to provide a potential solution to the affordable housing crisis in Chicago, by proposing a restructuring of a current tax fund to be reinvested in Chicago neighborhoods through affordable housing initiatives.
Chatham resident Edrika Fulford knows what it’s like to be homeless. After quitting her job as a family case manager to take care of her ailing mother, Fulford became homeless in 2015. She had by that point lost her mother as well.
Over the past year, a small group of people experiencing homelessness have established a tent encampment in a an Avondale park known as Fireman’s Park. Last week, the group was given notice that the city planned to clean the park, leaving those living there — many of whom have ties to the surrounding community — concerned they would lose their belongings and their place to live.
A half-dozen homeless people living in an Avondale park say the city wants to remove them, but the city says that’s not the case.
“Give us a home or leave us alone,” the residents and others chanted at a news conference in Fireman’s Park, where they asked Mayor Lori Lightfoot to direct federal relief money towards housing the homeless.
In this segment, the hosts and expert panel discuss Naperville’s current affordable housing struggle. Dana Davenport and Rebecca Malotke-Meslin are joined by Robert Bruegmann a Professor of Art History and Urban Planning at the University of Illinois-Chicago and the author of Sprawl: A Compact History, Judith Brodhead who served on and chaired the Naperville Plan Commission during a period of rapid growth in Naperville before serving on the City Council for twelve years. She is also an English Professor and Coordinator of Cultural Events at North Central College and taught a seminar titled “Chicago and Suburban Housing” for many years as part of the Chicago Area Studies program. Also joining Robert and Judith in this segment are Mike Ryder, one of the founders of the DuPage Housing Alliance and St. Thomas the Apostle Outreach & Social Justice Office, and Kevin M. Gallaher, Attorney at Winick & Gallaher and former Naperville Councilman.