Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Homelessness and Affordable Housing

A Chicago Tribune article today reported on a study that estimates the number of people without homes in the US to be 744,000. Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, says, "The driver in homelessness is the affordable housing crisis. If we don't do something to address the crisis in affordable housing we are not going to solve homelessness."

I noticed another article today in Crain's Chicago Business about Mayor Daley's reluctance to support a city ordinance proposed by Aldermen Tony Preckwinkle and Walter Burnett that would require 15% of new multi-unit buildings to be set aside for affordable housing. Daley is proposing a 10% rule for only projects needing zoning changes or a $100,000 per unit contribution to a city rent subsidy fund.

The author of the article, Greg Hinz, says about Mayor Daley, "He says he doesn't want to kill the golden goose that's reviving the city center. I believe him. I also believe he'd like to avoid offending powerful business interests."

It will be interesting to see who wins this debate.

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