Jan. 28 public hearing for Chicago’s proposed 5-Year Housing Plan

By Eithne McMenamin, Associate Policy Director

A public hearing on Chicago’s proposed 5-Year Housing Plan – Bouncing Back is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28.

The 10 a.m. hearing will be conducted by the Chicago City Council’s Housing & Real Estate Committee, in City Council chambers on the 2nd floor, 121 N. LaSalle St.

The housing plan was introduced at the City Council’s Jan. 15 meeting, with written comments accepted until Jan. 10 by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. The proposed housing plan for 2014-18 is posted on the city planning office website. 

As associate policy director at CCH, I was a member of the steering committee that participated in meetings held prior to drafting of the housing plan. Through our advocacy by CCH and the Sweet Home Chicago Coalition, the city increased its proposed commitment to the TIF Purchase Rehab Program (the Sweet Home Chicago ordinance), from $3 million to $20 million.

While a significant increase, this amounts to just $4 million a year to restore vacant apartment buildings for low-income families making less than $37,000 a year. CCH and the Sweet Home Chicago Coalition asked the city to commit $50 million – $10 million a year – to the TIF Purchase Rehab Program during the life of the city’s 5-year plan.

We will continue to push the city to create more housing for low-income families in our city, especially in the face of city’s TIF expenditures of $55 million for a  new DePaul basketball arena and hotel, as well as a proposal to fund a lakefront condominium development with $14 million in TIF funds.

Sweet Home Chicago Coalitions asks you to contact city officials to tell them that you think Chicago should commit $10 million a year in the TIF Purchase Rehab Program to help house the lowest income families in our city.