Bring Chicago Home
Endorsed by 80 community organizations and advocacy groups, this signature campaign advocates a progressive real estate transfer tax (RETT) on high-end property sales over $1 million. Funds would be dedicated to addressing homelessness, including new housing stock.
Since Bring Chicago Home’s 2018 launch, more than 250 grassroots leaders have co-led the campaign on its Grassroots, Leadership, and Steering committees. Steering committee organizations include CCH, Communities United, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, ONE Northside, SEIU-HCII, and United Working Families.
The coalition hosted a virtual forum, We Demand Better, in May 2021, calling on city officials to use discretionary resources from federal pandemic relief funds to advance long-term supportive housing strategies. The event featured testimonies from people with lived experience and health care experts with Chicago Homelessness and Health Response Group for Equity (CHHRGE).
BCH reintroduced a resolution in City Hall in July to restructure the RETT – which must be approved by voters in a city-wide referendum – to create a dedicated revenue stream to develop and preserve permanent, affordable housing. Nine alderpeople co-sponsored the resolution, which would let Chicago voters weigh in during an upcoming election on whether to support BCH’s proposal.
Learn more here from the Bring Chicago Home website.
Bring Chicago Home gratefully acknowledges past project-specific support from The Chicago Community Trust, Conant Family Foundation, Comer Family Foundation, Enterprise Community Partners, Michael Reese Health Trust, Pierce Family Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, and an anonymous family foundation.
An estimated 13,054 Chicago families experienced homelessness in the 2014-15 school year. Yet on average, less than 1% – or 123 families – access permanent affordable housing each year.
In 2019 the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless concluded HomeWorks, a four-year campaign to create affordable housing for homeless families and improve school services for homeless students in Chicago.
Working with parent leaders and family housing providers, HomeWorks advocated for improved school services and more family-sized housing with supportive services, including housing for families doubled-up in the homes of others.
“The city of Chicago must commit to ending family homelessness, just it has pledged to end homelessness among veterans,” said CCH Policy Director Julie Dworkin at the campaign’s 2015 launch.
Initiatives included advocacy with Chicago Public Schools to enact an updated homeless education policy, adopted in April 2016. Parents and students experiencing homelessness who served on our Education Committee worked for the new policy, in collaboration with the Law Project.
HomeWorks advocated for adoption of Chicago’s Airbnb ordinance, enacted by the City Council in June 2016. The ordinance allocates a 4% surcharge to fund supportive services and housing for homeless people.
In April 2017, the HomeWorks campaign joined the city of Chicago in announcing the city’s new school-based housing initiative, called Housing Support for CPS Families in Transition (FIT). Launched in the 2017-18 school year, as program as proposed by HomeWorks provides permanent supportive housing to 100 homeless families with about 400 parents and children from six Chicago Public elementary schools. City agencies assessed the most vulnerable families that, for the first time in a city-funded program, included families that were doubled-up in the homes of others. Of families assessed to be most vulnerable, 59% were doubled-up and 41% lived in shelters. Funding is provided by the city’s Airbnb tax and $1 million from the Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund, using revenue streams secured by CCH advocacy.
HomeWorks campaign partners were AIDS Foundation, Catholic Charities, CSH (Corporation for Supportive Housing), Facing Forward to End Homelessness, Family Rescue, Heartland Alliance, Inner Voice, Inspiration Corporation, New Moms, Inc., Primo Center for Women and Children, Renaissance Social Services, and Unity Parenting and Counseling
HomeWorks gratefully acknowledges past project-specific support from the Polk Bros. Foundation, and The Chicago Community Trust through its Housing+ grant program.
For more information, contact Associate Policy Director Mary Tarullo.