Sweet Home Chicago allies speak up on city’s new 5-year housing plan

Some 50 staff and community leaders from CCH and the Sweet Home Chicago Coalition participated in a July 24 hearing regarding a new 5-year housing plan (2014-18) for the city of Chicago.

Housing officials asked to hear what city residents want to see in the plan. Sweet Home partners offered a clear message about the need for Chicago to:
·         Fund the Sweet Home Chicago TIF residential rehab program at $10 million a year
·         Be a fully-engaged partner in the new Cook County Land Bank, including support for a strong affordable housing component
·         Preserve and protect single-room occupancy (SRO) housing
·         Preserve and keep foreclosed rental housing occupied through effective enforcement of the Keep Chicago Renting ordinance, enacted in June
·         Promote the rehab and preservation of vacant CHA housing units 

Our thanks to everyone who turned out for the hearing. The room was full, with about 150 people in attendance. We heard great testimony that was on-point with the planks of Sweet Home’s community housing platform.

I have to take a moment for a special shout-out acknowledging the remarks of a Bickerdike Redevelopment Corp. leader, Alfredo Rodriguez.

Among his remarks, Alfredo said, “I’m not sure if you heard me…I said, if the city of Chicago can spend $50 million for college kids to bounce a ball around, they can find $10 million to fund the TIF rehab ordinance.”

That was definitely the biggest applause line of the night!

Sweet Home partners who attended the hearing at Harold Washington Library were Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Action Now, Bickerdike, CCH, Community Renewal Society, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, Logan Square Neighborhood Association, ONE Northside, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois/Indiana.

– Associate Policy Director Eithne McMenamin