Changing Chicago's Housing Crisis into New Opportunities
October 12, 2006
The City of Chicago has undergone a gradual but radical transformation in the past two decades. A city of neighborhoods, once characterized by bungalows and two-flats and smaller rental properties affordable to working families, has morphed into a city of high-rise condos and high-cost homes. The “City that Works”—once a stable home to working and middle-class people—is now losing its heart and soul, as more households flee to the suburbs in search of affordable housing, robbing our city of its tax base, its social capital, and its cultural character, and leaving our city with more neighborhoods of concentrated affluence and more neighborhoods of concentrated despair. Most disturbingly, our elected officials are failing to invest significant public resources or political will in solving this problem. If we allow the status quo to proceed, we put the future success of our city at risk; and most working and middle-class families will continue to move away. If we act together, we can build a city for all Chicagoans. This Report examines the crisis conditions of affordable housing and offers a way forward.