In a key achievement for the Sweet Home Chicago Coalition, the Chicago City Council voted Feb. 5 to adopt a 5-Year Housing Plan that promises to spend $35 million in tax-increment financing on the TIF Purchase Rehab Program.
With $4 million in funding allocated in 2012-13, the new housing plan more than doubles stated funding goals for a program that restores rental housing for low- and moderate-income households.
“This is a significant victory for the Sweet Home Chicago Coalition, which works together to create more rental housing for lower-income working families,” said CCH Policy Director Julie Dworkin.
Managed by CCH, Sweet Home Chicago’s coalition of 11 organizations have spent almost a year advocating with city officials to dedicate more funds to the TIF Purchase Rehab Program. Sweet Home helped enact the program in 2010, during Mayor Richard Daley’s last month in office.
Now in its second year of implementation, TIF Purchase Rehab funds the purchase and renovation of affordable rental housing. In mid-2013, $1 million was awarded to restore 35 apartments in two shuttered buildings in the Ogden-Pulaski TIF district. Another $3 million is slated for allocation, also in the West Side’s Humboldt Park and Chicago/Central Park TIF districts.
In an early draft of the city housing plan for FYs 2014-19, less than $1 million a year was proposed. Sweet Home advocated for an increase, resulting in a proposed $4 million a year commitment last fall. CCH Associate Policy Director Eithne McMenamin served on the Housing Plan Steering Committee. Sweet Home partners have met monthly with Deputy Planning Commissioner Lawrence Grisham and his staff, testified at a July public hearing and submitted reports during a public comment period in January.
At a Jan. 28 public hearing before the Real Estate and Housing Committee, Planning & Development Commissioner Andrew Mooney committed to increasing the city’s funding goal to $7 million a year, $35 million over the life of the plan.
The Sweet Home Chicago Coalition is made up of Action NOW, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp., CCH, Community Renewal Society/Protestants for the Common Good, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Organization of the NorthEast (ONE Northside), SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana, and Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP).
– Anne Bowhay, Media