AFFORDABLE HOUSING PLAN
Housing is a human right, and I will fight to ensure that affordable housing in our ward is truly affordable. We can build a ward that is accommodating to all residents, whether they've been here three months, three years, or three generations.
Limited-equity co-ops offer low down-payments on units and get favorable tax treatment in exchange for an agreement that limits the amount of equity earned by any unit in the building. This gives families an entry point into owning their own homes and by capping the equity that can be earned earned, the affordability of co-op buildings is preserved for future buyers. I will work to bring more co-ops to the 35th Ward, and will use my office to educate people on co-op ownership.
I support legislation to legalize Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) such as coach houses and garden units. This is a low-hanging fruit solution that will increase housing stock while providing homeowners with a new source of income.
If we want more affordable housing, we must have more housing - it’s a simple matter of supply and demand. Demand in our area is higher than the supply, and so costs are rising. I support responsible, equitable Transit Oriented Development, allowing mid-range density near transit corridors so that residents do not need to rely on cars to access the rest of the city. When planning this development, we must identify sites where we wish to put affordable housing, and plan as though that housing is already in place to plan for traffic mitigation accordingly.
By working with local landlords, developers, housing advocacy organizations, and nearby aldermen, we can more effectively manage and market the affordable housing that already exists or will soon exist in our neighborhoods. I will work with stakeholders to form a task force to create a database of affordable housing units, connect those in need of housing with those landlords, and assist landlords in covering administrative costs such as credit checks on prospective tenants.
Undocumented immigrants, one of the most vulnerable populations in our communities, are not eligible for any affordable housing that uses federal funding. This is why we need a variety of available housing from other resources in our community to stop displacement. My office will have a staff position dedicated to being a liaison with the undocumented community, and connecting immigrants with affordable housing will be a key part of that role’s portfolio.
I will work with local neighborhood organizations to help them secure land grants to purchase abandoned homes at a low price, do repair work and sell them to families at an affordable price. This allows families to begin building equity.
I would require that any housing built in the community fulfill the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) on-site or within the ward instead of paying an ‘in-lieu’ fee.
My pledge to the community is to maintain a transparent, open process when considering zoning changes and housing plans throughout our ward. Every plan will be made available for members of the community to assess via my website and other outlets, and will have a comment period where residents, stakeholders, advocacy groups, and potential tenants will have the opportunity to give their input via a combination of public meetings, conference calls, and email communications.