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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:58pm
Fri Dec 11, 2015

Record Number Of Renters Were Burdened By Housing Costs Last Year

The number of U.S. renters burdened by housing costs hit another high last year as rents increased while earnings stayed flat, a new report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University shows.

There were 21.3 million cost-burdened renters in 2014, meaning they paid more than 30 percent of their income on housing. That's up from the previous high of 20.8 million cost-burdened renters in 2013.

What's worse, there were 11.4 million severely cost-burdened renters last year who paid more than 50 percent of their income on housing.

In all, 46 percent of U.S. renters were cost-burdened last year, while 26 percent had severe burdens.

"More families are renting and too many of them are struggling as supply fails to meet demand and stagnant incomes fail to keep up with rising rents," said Julia Stasch, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which provided funding for the report. "The affordability of rental housing is a critical national issue that deserves more attention and more action from policymakers."

Quick Hit
by guest
7:22pm
Fri Nov 20, 2015

Guest Article: Interfaith Leaders Press CHA To Preserve Housing At Lathrop Homes

The following was written by Chicago journalist Curtis Black.

Pastors invoked the Battle of Jericho -with the Chicago Housing Authority as the wall keeping people out of their promised land - at an Interfaith Call to Action rally demanding preservation of public housing at Lathrop Homes last week.

"There's a barrier standing in the way of thousands of people who need a home," said Rev. Bruce Ray of Kimball Avenue Church. "There's a barrier standing in the way of new homes in a land of promise...It's the Chicago Housing Authority."

As fellow pastors held up a wall with the letters "CHA" on it, Ray added, "CHA might as well stand for 'Can't House Anyone.'"

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
8:27pm
Tue Nov 10, 2015

Low-Wage Workers March In Downtown Chicago, Push For Fight For $15 Political Agenda (VIDEO)

Hundreds of low-wage Chicago workers and their allies hit the city's downtown streets Tuesday evening to call for a $15 an hour minimum wage, union recognition and other items on their new "voter agenda."

The protest, which started at the Thompson Center and ended with a march to a nearby McDonald's at Clark and Lake streets, was one among many Fight for $15 actions happening Tuesday in 500 U.S. cities.

Fast food and other low-wage workers chanted, "What do we want? $15! When do we want it? Now!"

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:08pm
Tue Nov 10, 2015

Chicago Fight For $15 Activists Rally For 'Racial, Economic Justice' During National Day Of Protests (VIDEO)

Low-wages workers with the Fight for $15 campaign went on strike Tuesday in 270 cities, including Chicago. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the morning Fight for $15 protests in Chicago.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:20pm
Tue Oct 27, 2015

Emanuel's Proposed Property Tax Hike Could Hit Renters Hard, Report Shows

One day before Wednesday's budget vote in the Chicago City Council, a Northwest Side community group released new research showing that Chicago renters could take a significant hit under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed property tax increase.

Emanuel wants to increase property taxes by a record $588 million over four years to pay for police and fire pensions and school construction. Aldermen are scheduled to vote on the mayor's budget package, including the property tax increase, at Wednesday's council meeting.

A report released Tuesday by Communities United, formerly the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, examined the potential impact of the proposed property tax hike on renters in two-flat buildings across seven North Side neighborhoods.

The grassroots social justice group found that tenants in two-flats on Chicago's North and Northwest Sides could see their rent increase between $50 to $100 a month, or $600 to $1,200 a year, after the property tax increase is fully implemented.

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