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The Mechanics
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Housing Thu Aug 18 2011

Rent Increases and Affordable Housing

The Sun-Times reported on Thursday that the price of apartment rents is increasing and market studies show that rents will likely rise over the next couple of years. The article also says that the demand for rental units has increased due to the economic downturn and uncertainty about the housing market. The article says that the only neighborhood where a large number of new apartments are being built is in the downtown area.

Peter Strazzabosco, spokesman for Chicago's Department of Housing and Economic Development (HED), said that the department does monitor the market prices for apartments. That data is used to help determine the rental rates for the affordable housing HED helps create and maintain.

"When we establish our affordable housing guidelines we have to know what the median retail rates are," Strazzabosco said.

Rates for affordable housing is no more than 80% of the area median retail rates, although the number might be lower than 80% for some units depending on where the funding is coming from.

The City has spent about $2 billion on the creation and maintenance of affordable housing units, which includes properties that are for sale. Strazzabosco said that this year HED is aiming to spend $355 million this year on the creation and preservation of 5,600 rental units.

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