Chicago, IL Affordable Housing Plan

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Chicago, IL, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Announced on 1/7/09

Source File: Click here


Mayor Richard M. Daley today announced the city's five-year plan which commits $2.1 billion in support of 50,022 units of affordable housing.

"Especially in these difficult economic times, the market place simply cannot produce enough affordable housing to meet the needs of low-and-moderate-income individuals and families. Government has to play a role, and once again, we have accepted that challenge," Daley said in a news conference held at Sanctuary Place, 642 N. Kedzie Av., a supportive housing development.

"Affordable housing helps build healthy neighborhoods. When housing costs are minimized, families have more money to spend on other items, including education. Affordable housing also creates jobs," Daley said.

The 2009-13 plan builds on programs that have been successful in the past. It will be introduced into the City Council January 13.

Since 1989, the City has invested more than $4.5 billion in local, state, federal, and private funds to create, improve and maintain more than 170,000 units of affordable housing for people of modest means.

The 2004-2008 plan committed $1.88 billion to support 48,085 housing units, and will exceed those goals. More than 80 per cent of those units house families earning less than $60,000 a year.

During 2004-2008, nearly 24,000 multi-family units were built and more than 19,000 homeowner units were improved or preserved.

Under the current plan, the City:

  • Joined the MacArthur Foundation, the Urban Land Institute and other public, private and non-profit organizations in the Preservation Compact, an effort to preserve 75,000 affordable rental apartments throughout Cook County by 2020
  • Helped pass the Affordable Housing Density Bonus and expanded the Affordable Requirements Ordinance to include all sales of City land, any zoning change that increases project density, and all planned developments.
  • Established the Chicago Community Land Trust to preserve the long term affordability of homes created through City programs
  • Successfully advocated for statewide rental subsidy legislation, which greatly expanded the number of households that receive assistance and will help prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless.

Daley called the 2009-2013 proposal "ambitious and creative" but said that, unlike the last plan, it is being undertaken at a time when the economy is in deep trouble and so is the real estate market.

"When we embarked on the 2004-2008 plan, Chicago was enjoying a robust real estate market and our efforts around affordable housing were made easier because of a thriving private market that allowed us to leverage private market dollars to augment our own development strategies," the Mayor said.

"As we put together the 2009-2013 plan, we know we face steep economic challenges in the months and years ahead. But that has not diminished our ability to create a bold plan that has a strong framework around which we will continue to create and preserve affordable housing while building on the successes of the last plan," he said.

Among the highlights of the 2009-13 plan are these:

  • It commits $2.1 billion to support 50,022 units of affordable housing.
  • It will preserve and create affordable rental and for-sale housing, and will provide direct assistance to households.
  • It will continue to support the building and preservation of affordable rental housing -- the housing option for individuals and families with the lowest incomes.
  • It will do more to reduce energy costs and build in an environmentally-friendly way.
  • It will help the City continue its efforts to prevent foreclosures and where that is not possible, to reduce the impact of foreclosures on families and neighborhoods.
  • It will continue to support homeownership and work with institutions to address credit issues.

"Our goal of 50,000 units is a modest increase over the 2004-2008 plan but a realistic one in the current economic climate. If the economy improves more rapidly than economists now expect, we will respond appropriately to new opportunities to do more," Daley said.

This plan draws on the expertise of people familiar with every aspect of urban housing, including not-for-profit developers and academics, builders and foundation executives, lenders and borrowers, landlords, and tenants.

"These are the people who make up the housing community in our city, and their commitment has helped make Chicago a national leader in affordable housing. With this Five-Year Plan as a guide, I am confident we will continue to lead the nation in providing high-quality affordable housing for our residents," he said.

The Mayor was joined by federal and state housing officials, representatives from the not-for-profit sector and members of the City's Five-year Affordable Housing Group.