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Obama CBA Coalition's 6 Demands For South Shore

Over 70 residents and press gathered in South Shore on Sunday for the announcement of policy demands to protect renters and homeowners in South Shore. See below for the six demands and how they can be implemented. Download the one-pager and comprehensive details on the demands. A virtual event to teach about the demands is scheduled for Wednesday, December 1 at 6 p.m. - RSVP for the Zoom link here.

Construction of the Obama Presidential Center broke ground on September 28, 2021. Blocks away in South Shore, where the majority of residents are low-income Black people, longtime tenants and homeowners are being displaced, and affordable housing is disappearing. South Shore is the #1 neighborhood for eviction filings in 2021. South Shore is 93% Black, and 77% of residents are renters. Over half of South Shore residents are rent burdened (spending more than 30% of income on rent). Meanwhile, property values in South Shore have increased by 48% in the past year (Oct '20-'21). [sources: Census 2021; Redfin]

South Shore residents need protections to stay in their neighborhood, so that those who have been here can benefit from the Obama Presidential Center. We demand that the City of Chicago, Mayor Lightfoot, Alderwoman Leslie Hairston (5th Ward), and Alderman Greg Mitchell (7th Ward):

1. Ensure Equitable Development in South Shore

* Set aside 100% of the City-owned vacant lots in South Shore for affordable housing development. Developments on these lots should be truly affordable: 75% of the units reserved for 15%-30% of Area Median Income (AMI), with the other 25% of units reserved for 60% AMI.

* Create a South Shore pilot affordable housing overlay, requiring 60% of any new developments to be reserved for 30% AMI. Off-site units must be located within the pilot area.

2. Expand Tenant Protections

* Create and fund an Office of the Tenant Advocate.

* Create and fund a Rental Registry.

* Set aside $15 million in immediate rental relief for South Shore tenants; commit to $5 million annual allocation.

* Establish and fund a Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Program.

* Establish a cap on rental application fees, move-in fees, and security deposits.

* Expand the Fair Notice protections for South Shore residents.

* Guarantee the Right to Return when tenants are displaced due to City code enforcement activity; provide relocation assistance to tenants whose landlords cannot pay.

3. Preserve Affordable Housing

* Establish and allocate $5 million to a South Shore Loan Fund for purchases and rehabilitation of vacant single-family homes and multi-unit buildings, requiring 60% of units at 30% AMI and 40% at 60% AMI.

* Allocate $3 million annually to the PEAR Program for multi-unit buildings in South Shore

* Allocate $5 million to the Chicago Low-Income Trust Fund for subsidized units in South Shore.

4. Protect South Shore Homeowners

* Establish a Renew South Shore Program and allocate $12 million to the program to provide grants and down-payment assistance for South Shore residents.

* Allocate $20 million to the Long Term Homeowner Improvement Grant Program for South Shore homeowners.

* Forgive the $2.3 million in tax debt owed by primarily low-income residents of the 5th & 7th wards.

5. Prevent and Address Displacement

* Create and implement a Right to Return preference policy that prioritizes current and former longtime residents of South Shore in the awarding of any loans, grants, or subsidized units.

6. Hold Chicago Housing Authority Accountable

* Increase resources and access, and lower barriers for South Shore voucher holders to participate in the Choose to Own Homeownership Program.

* Use the REAP Program to purchase and convert newly developed South Shore properties to public housing.



* Why No Community Benefits Agreement For The Obama Library?

* Rhymefest Leads Obama Library CBA Effort.

* Jackson Park Community Football Team Holds What They Fear Will Be Their Final Homecoming Game On Field Where Obama Library Set To Be Built.

* "Woodlawn resident and community organizer Haroon Garel notes that 'the Obama Foundation has been very responsive when concerns were raised by wealthier white neighbors, such as condo associations and preservationists, in agreeing to make millions of dollars of infrastructure changes by moving the parking lot underground. However, when low-income working Black families demand a Community Benefits Agreement and guarantees against displacement we are ignored.'"

* "President Change needs a reported $175 million in taxpayer-funded roadwork for his 'library' but refuses to sign a Community Benefits Agreement (while chuckling that rents will go up 'a little' around Jackson Park but dislocated residents are out of luck because, oh well!)."

* Obama Library Already Displacing Residents.

* Did The Jackson Park Community Football Team Just Play Its Last Homecoming?


Comments welcome.


Posted on November 15, 2021

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