The Chicago For All coalition celebrated passage of the Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Preservation ordinance Monday night in Uptown. The event was attended by many leaders from ONE Northside, the campaign’s lead organization, as well as staff from partner groups and several key staff from Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office.
CCH’s Eithne McMenamin and Julie Dworkin were honored for their policy work in developing and negotiating the ordinance as well as assistance with building aldermanic support and campaign strategy.
The ordinance goes into effect in December. It addresses several key issues:
- Mandate that owners of SRO buildings who want to sell their buildings give notice and go through a 180-day process in which they must negotiate in good faith with any buyer that wants to purchase the building to preserve the units as affordable housing.
- Dedicate city resources to preserve a minimum of 700 units of SRO housing, including funds to repair buildings and to provide rental subsidies.
- Provide critical tenant protections, including a right to relocation assistance if a building is converted to market rate, non-retaliation provisions for tenants that organize in the building, and the right to a room key.
“The best part of the campaign for me was working alongside ONE Northside leaders to pass this ordinance,” said Eithne McMenamin in accepting the award. “They were consistently there and they were a powerful part of the campaign.”