Amid fears that the amount of affordable housing in the city is shrinking, a team of community groups has taken the issue up in City Hall. The "Chicago for All" ordinance, introduced in City Hall Wednesday morning by a coalition led by the community group ONE Northside, would require single room occupancy building owners to ask the city's permission if they decide to substantially rehabilitate their building. They could only gain that permission if they maintained the units as affordable housing, rebuilt the units in the same community or forked up a fee. ONE Northside reps state that over 2,200 SRO housing units have been lost to market rate development over the past three years, displacing low-income tenants, who they say have to move out of the community or become homeless as a result.
Similar SRO protection legislation already exists in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. The issue is raised at a critical time for the former Lathrop Homes — the subject of another major affordable housing debate — where groups continue to haggle over the proportion of market-rate, affordable and public housing at the site. A Chicago Housing Authority board agreed to loan the Lathrop Community Partners $3.4 million for predevelopment work for the low-rise public housing complex near the Chicago River, the Tribune reported Tuesday. The "Chicago for All" ordinance could be passed as soon as June.
This post was authored by Curbed Chicago contributor Megan Graham
·'Chicago for All' Ordinance Aims to Preserve SRO Housing [DNAinfo]
·CHA approves $3.5M loan for Lathrop project [Chicago Tribune]
·Potential remakes of residential hotels pose concerns [Chicago Tribune]
·Previous Lathrop Homes coverage [Curbed Chicago]