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Thursday, February 29

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City Council Mon Mar 08 2010

March for Affordable Housing Monday Morning


Our friends with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless will be gathering on the second floor of Chicago City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., at 9:30 a.m. this morning in support of dipping into the city's tax increment financing district (TIF) funds to finance more affordable housing. Four aldermen -- Walter Burnett (27th Ward), Richard Mell (33rd Ward), Joe Moore (49th Ward) and Ed Smith (28th Ward) -- are expected to attend, along with April Verrett, vice-president of SEIU- Healthcare, Rashmi Ramaswamy of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and Rev. Calvin Morris of the Community Renewal Society.

In a statement, Julie Dworkin, director of policy for the Coalition, writes:

With neighborhoods throughout the city staggered by an onslaught of foreclosures, several Chicago Aldermen will introduce legislation to fund more affordable housing from the ample revenues accumulated in Tax Increment Financing accounts. Details on the proposal will be discussed at a news conference Monday at City Hall.

Despite a cumulative TIF surplus of $1.3 billion as of 2009, only four percent of the money in those accounts has been allocated to affordable housing since the TIF program's inception. Meanwhile, foreclosures stemming from the collapse of the real estate market are destroying communities throughout the city. TIF is a resource that could turn those vacant properties into affordable housing.

In December, supporters of the Sweet Home Chicago Coalition marched outside of Ald. Robert Fioretti's office (2nd Ward) in an effort to get him and other aldermen to back the proposed legislation, which would require that 20 percent of future money generated from TIFs go toward affordable housing.

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just sayin' / March 8, 2010 10:36 AM

You do realize that increasing a subsidy program with funds from TIF districts will have two effects:

1.) Make TIF reform and transparency even more difficult than it is right now.

2.) It will tie that subsidy to an unsustainable budget loophole.

I know its the whole short-term, looking out for the poor and down trodden, but the long run effects will have a detrimental effect to the community this seeks to help.

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