The mayor’s plan was introduced to the City Council last month and it calls for the city to invest more than $1.1 billion to build, rehab and preserve 41,000 housing units.
The plan also includes other initiatives like “Bouncing Back,” which is supposed to reduce the cost of quality affordable housing construction. It also could put 8,000 of Chicago’s vacant and foreclosed properties back on the market. Some of the vacant properties can be used for residential development, community gardens or private yards. Other ways these properties can be sold is through the Micro Market Recovery Program, which gives buyers incentives and puts pressure on banks to offer better foreclosure prevention counseling and neighborhood lending in distressed neighborhoods like Englewood and Humboldt Park.
According to the plan, the bulk of the city’s resources will go to the preservation and rebuilding of affordable rental housing. The city plans to expand the number of affordable units available in mixed income communities, focusing on low-income renters and those who require welfare services.
Still, others who attended the City Hall meeting are contesting the plan. Affordable housing advocates and housing voucher holders, along with 22 aldermen, argued that the new plan does not adequately address the needs of Chicago’s most vulnerable residents. They say they want to amend the city’s plan to include more oversight of the CHA and a “one-for-one replacement” of public housing units that have been destroyed by the city’s Plan for Transformation.
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