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Chicago housing activists to spread holiday wishes

Join Chicago housing activists on Monday Dec. 17 at Noon for a holiday festival of singing and gift giving in front of Chicago's Chrismas tree in Daley Plaza. Singing more up to date carols, activists plan on reminding Chicago residents and officials that housing is one gift that everyone needs.
On Monday, December 17, 2001 the Coalition for Fair Community Development will be holding a Christmas Caroling action at Noon near the City of Chicago’s Christmas tree in Daley Plaza. By spreading holiday cheer, the Coalition hopes to remind Chicago city officials and Chicago residents that affordable, accessible housing is a holiday gift that keeps giving all year long.

The Coalition intends to add to the holiday atmosphere and invite Loop workers to join them in singing some up to date holiday standards. The group also plans to share their concerns with Mayor Daley and city council members by presenting them with cards to remind them that there is no place like home for the holidays.

Chicago has 77 very distinct communities making the city a dynamic cultural center in the Midwest. Many of these communities are threatened by unmitigated development that hurts current residents and decreases the supply of affordable housing. Affordable housing is an issue that affects all but a small portion of Chicago residents. It is an issue that impacts individuals and families from the poor and working class to middle class household struggling to make ends meet. With recent changes in the economy, affordable housing becomes an issue that can no longer be set to the side.

The coalition has developed a set principles that will prevent displacement of residents and ensure that all Chicago residents will benefit from development in the coming year. In the coming year, coalition members demand action from Mayor Daley and city council members. On Monday, the coalition will demand two immediate actions.

First, the group demands that a fair rent board be established to evaluate excessive rent increases and prevent rent gouging. Rent stabilization will help communities adjust over time to increased property values and prevent tenants from being forced out of affordable, accessible housing so that developers can convert housing stock into condos.

Second, pass an ordinance that requires a percentage of new and rehab construction be set aside for moderate, low and very low income residents and require that more housing be accessible to persons with disabilities. The Chicago median income and not the Metropolitan median income should be used to define affordability. Using the tri-county median distorts the median level upwards.

The Coalition for Fair Community Development is an organization comprised of individuals and neighborhood housing advocacy groups. The Coalition acts as an umbrella group to network local community activists into each other’s work around the subject of community friendly development and provide support for local community actions. More information can be obtained by calling (773) 292-4980 or send an e-mail to tenants-rights (at) tenants-rights.org.
 
 

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