Organizers in black shirts with the yellow slogan “Bring Chicago Home” across the chest have long shown up in droves to City Council meetings, led by multiple mayors at this point, to advocate for their proposal.
If passed, the ordinance introduced Thursday would prompt a citywide referendum next March asking voters whether the city should increase the transfer tax when properties valued over $1 million are sold, and decrease for lesser valued properties. If voters gave it the go-ahead, the revenue would create a dedicated stream to fund homeless prevention services.
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has counted 68,440 people experiencing homelessness in 2021, an increase of nearly 3,000 people from the previous year, according to the group’s most recent estimates. The research shows shifts in the way people experienced homelessness, noting 7,985 more people were staying on the street or in shelters as opposed to those temporarily staying with others, compared with 2020 data.
For about six months, Electa Bey lived with relatives as she saved up money for a new apartment and took the time to find one.
At the time, she didn’t consider herself unhoused. She had just lost her husband, and she was temporarily staying with relatives. She says that she now realizes she was among those doubling up in homes across Chicago.
“I didn’t know I was homeless,” Bey said. “I’m like, OK, I’m staying with family — doesn’t mean I’m homeless. But it did. I had to look at it and say, wait a minute, I have to go sooner or later.”
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless said the plan raised questions and concerns, including whether new arrivals will be given the option to go to a traditional shelter, plans for connecting people to permanent housing and services and whether people will have restrictions on coming and going from the winterized tents.
“Solutions being proposed now to support new arrivals are only temporary,” the statement read. “These resources will run out, and Chicago will be in a worse position than when it started.”
What about the burgeoning homeless and affordable housing crisis? More than 200,000 families are on Chicago Housing Authority waiting lists, according to the CHA’s fiscal year 2023 report. The wait for public housing can take six months to 25 years. The Section 8 waitlist is currently closed. The CHA says the city has not received a major increase in vouchers over the last 30 years.
En su último reporte, la Coalición de Chicago para los Desamparados (CCH, por sus siglas en inglés) reveló que hay al menos 68,440 personas sin techo en Chicago, y de ellas el 82% son personas de color.
55,857 de las personas que viven sin techo en Chicago se identifican como negros, afroamericanos, asiáticos, isleños del Pacífico, indígenas americanos, nativos de Alaska, y multirraciales; 19,970 personas se identificaron como hispanos o latinos. Sólo 12.6% de las personas viviendo sin techo son blancos.
A new report from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) estimates 68,440 Chicagoans experiencing homelessness at the beginning of 2022. This reflects a 2,829-person increase from the previous year—up 4.30 percent. This estimate is inclusive of more than 44,000 people experiencing an often-hidden form of homelessness: doubling up or temporarily staying with others. Homelessness is not one-size-fits-all and there are many ways one person can experience it. Someone may sleep in a shelter, on the street, at a train station, and double up with others all in one week. All these living situations should be considered homeless. In 2022, Chicago tallied 3,875 people experiencing street and shelter homelessness. The Point-in-Time count tallies people experiencing street and shelter homelessness on a designated night of the year—usually every January. The Department of Housing and Urban Development does not include people doubling up with friends and family who are considered homeless and therefore is not counting them in their annual estimates and does not include them in who is eligible for housing. CCH developed a method of estimating homelessness using American Community Survey data that includes those living doubled-up.
The number of people experiencing homelessness in Chicago increased between 2020 and 2021, according to a new estimate from Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
The group finds that 68,440 people experienced homelessness in 2021, a 2,829 increase from the previous year, according to the coalition’s report published Thursday. The research shows shifts in the way people experienced homelessness, citing that 7,985 more people were staying on the street or in shelters as opposed to those temporarily staying with others compared with 2020 data.
An estimated 68,440 people were unhoused in Chicago in 2021 with a sharp jump in the number of people staying on the street or in shelters, according to a new report released Thursday by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
The coalition’s analysis included data both of people on the street or in shelters and the number of people who are “doubled up” or temporarily staying with others.
If approved, Chicago would join cities like New York, Los Angeles and Evanston who’ve turned to the tax in recent years to pad their budgets — all to different effects.
Currently, all property buyers pay a flat 0.75% rate, regardless of the sale price. The Bring Chicago Home proposal, first pitched by housing advocates in 2018, would more than triple that one-time tax for properties over $1 million, including commercial properties. Proponents predict the tax could generate more than $160 million in annual revenue for the city to spend on homelessness and rehousing efforts.
Illinois law only allows municipalities to restructure their real estate transfer taxes if voters approve it in a binding referendum. The Chicago City Council still must approve the ballot measure before it reaches voters, and the language and specific tax rates they propose may change. But as currently written, Bring Chicago Home would charge a 2.65% tax on all property sales of more than $1 million.