City maps out five-year affordable housing plan

Comments:  | Leave A Comment

In 2008, Chicago (much like the rest of the nation) experienced one of the worst housing droughts ever, with escalating foreclosures and evictions pushing many low-income families to the brink of being homeless.

In 2008, Chicago (much like the rest of the nation) experienced one of the worst housing droughts ever, with escalating foreclosures and evictions pushing many low-income families to the brink of being homeless.

To combat this problem, Mayor Richard M. Daley recently rolled out a five-year affordable housing plan to make living in Chicago much easier.

The plan calls for the city to commit $2.1 billion in support services to help create 50,022 affordable housing units. The 2004-2008 plan had committed $1.88 billion to support 48,085 housing units.

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

And much like the federal government, Chicago defines affordable housing as a household that pays no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.

“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,” added Mayor Daley.

The new plan comes a little too late for Justin Grady.

He was evicted from his two-bedroom West Side apartment in November. After being laid off last July, his unemployment benefits check was $200 less than what he earned when working so he could no longer afford the $875 a month rent.

“My wife still works, but she earns a little more than minimum wage ($7.75 per hour), and my unemployment checks are small in comparison to what I made when I still had my job,” Grady, 49, told the Defender. “We had to move into my friend’s basement with our three kids, and it is a degrading experience for a Black man and his family.

But Grady is not alone when it comes to families who cannot afford adequate housing even though they work.

______

To read the rest of this article, subscribe to our digital or paper edition. For previous editions, contact us for details.

Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tags:

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 322 other followers