Housing Set-asides

Chicagoans are being priced out of their neighborhoods. After years of decline, Chicago’s population is growing again, fueling a booming real estate market. Unfortunately, this economic growth is not benefiting those who need it most. Across the city, rental housing is being lost or converted to condominiums that are not affordable for increasing numbers of residents.

To ensure that market rate development in all parts of the city includes a fair share of affordable housing, the Valuing Affordability Housing Set-Asides campaign proposes to set-aside a portion of all new residential developments, substantial rehabs, and condo conversions as affordable. In addition, the campaign will develop new strategies and resources for creating rental housing.

Advocacy Materials

Factsheet - CRN factsheet explains what a set-aside is and why it is needed in Chicago
Newspaper Ads - A set of three ads run in local papers during late September, 2002 (#1 Municipal workers, #2 Zoning, #3 Millennium Park)
Concept Paper - Developed by CRN members in summer, 2000 to describe how a set-aside should be structured in Chicago. Download Concept Paper
Model programs - Examples of Inclusionary Zoning, is a matrix of existing programs prepared by Business and Professional People for the Public Interest

In the News

Affordable housing issues not resolved by set-asides, Crain's Chicago Business, 8/12/01

Affordable housing within reach, Chicago Sun-Times, Letter to the Editor, 8/7/02

City plan promotes low-cost housing, ChicagoTribune, 7/8/02
In the News: Who'll defend the real pioneers?, Chicago Sun-Times, 5/15/02

Wards site's affordable housing deal, Crain's Chicago Business, 9/03/01

Cardinal calls for law to require more affordable housing, Chicago Tribune, 6/29/01

Who'll defend the real pioneers?, Chicago Sun-Times, 5/15/02
Innovative Housing Institute
Mayor's Zoning Reform Commission

On-line Reports

Expanding Affordable Housing Through Inclusionary Zoning: Lessons from the Metropolitan Area, Brookings Institution, October 2001

Inclusionary Zoning: A Viable Solution to the Affordable Housing Crisis?, New Centruy Housing, October 2000

Zoning for Housing Affordability, by Philip B. Herr & Associates from Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund

The House Next Door, Innovative Housing Institute, February 2001

Inclusionary Zoning Guidelines for Cities and Towns, by Edith M. Netter & Associates, from Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund

Cardinal Francis George endorses Valuing Affordability Campaign One June 28, 2001 at Chicago Rehab Network's Valuing Affordability conference, Cardinal Francis George called for a renewed committment to affordable housing from all of Chicago's citizens and officials. Describing housing as the foundation of healthy families and communities, the Cardinal spoke directly to the need for housing set-asides and property tax reform. Over 300 housing advocates and elected officials listened to the Cardinal's remarks at the Palmer House Hilton.

As the leader of Chicago's Catholic community, the Cardinal described the historic role housing segregation has played in the city and emphasized that the current building boom is an opportunity to create equity.

During a luncheon on the following day, leaders from many levels of government echoed the Cardinal's remarks. 31st Ward Alderman Ray Suarez—Chair of the Housing and Real Estate Committee—joined in the call for housing set-asides, and 4th Ward Alderwoman Toni Preckwinkle thanked Chicago Rehab Network for embarking on a much-needed public awareness campaign. U.S. Representative Jan Schakowshky highlighted the proposed cuts in the HUD budget and announcing her support for the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

Return to Campaign Components

April 28: Crain's Chicago Business Real Estate Daily: City mulls message to builders: No affordable units? No permits.