2001 Conference Highlights

As a multi-year campaign, Valuing Affordability works to create a climate that values affordable housing and the role it plays in healthy communities. In June of 2001, CRN convened a three-day conference to advance Valuing Affordability’s efforts foster this climate in Chicago and Illinois. Hundreds of advocates, housing developers, activists and elected officials came to explore strategies to further affordable housing through community empowerment, community support, neighborhood preservation, housing set-asides and living rents.

The conference was funded with support of The Woods Fund of Chicago, Northern Trust, LaSalle Banks, Bank One, Harris Trust and Savings Bank, Citibank and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Caucuses in each of the focus areas ran concurrently:

Community Empowerment

Neighborhood and resident leaders, organizers and faith based leaders wanting up to date housing information on their neighborhoods were encouraged to attend this tract to learn how to work with their elected and appointed officials, understand zoning procedures, and get an overview on current efforts to preserve and create affordable housing. Participants also had the opportunity to apply new skills in one of the four caucus areas.

Building Community Support

Strategies for Affordable Housing Acceptance
Anyone involved in writing, organizing or communicating about affordable housing was encouraged to attend this caucus to lay the groundwork for a powerful public education campaign to build support for affordable housing in the region. The caucus covered successful local and national public education strategies, and identified core housing messages to work locally and regionally.

Preserving Neighborhoods

Property Taxes as an Anti-Displacement Solution
This tract addressing the immediate need for solutions to displacement and gentrification was geared toward building owners, developers, policy makers and community leaders. Sessions explored preserving both homeownership and rental living options via tax policy. Based on the Texas and California models, the caucus proposed to establish an action plan for statewide property tax exemption of all nonprofits creating and preserving affordable housing.

Capturing the Boom

Setting Aside Housing for All
Community developers, advocates, organizers and community leaders, and others concerned with spreading the benefits of real estate boom to all neighborhoods were encouraged to attend this caucus to look at local and national models for the equitable siting of affordable housing.

Living Rents for Strong Communities
Developers, social service providers, organizers and advocates were encouraged to attend this caucus to explore ways to redefine local neighborhood living rents, and to create an action plan to generate resources and policies to sustain affordable rents in their neighborhoods.

To see a PDF of the Valuing Affordability Conference brochure:

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