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Renters
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:45pm
Wed Jul 20

Chicago Aldermen Approve Property Tax Rebate, Propose Sources Of Revenue For Schools

A group of Chicago aldermen proposed a package of ordinances Wednesday to generate revenue for the city's cash-strapped public schools.

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district has a $300 million budget gap, and schools are reportedly facing a 7 percent funding cut in the upcoming academic year.

"We've received some money from the state, but it's just not enough," Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said at a press conference before the council meeting with fellow aldermen, the Chicago Teachers Union and other education advocates.

"We need to find more progressive and more viable solutions to increase revenue so that all of our schools can be adequately financed, so that we can give quality teachers an opportunity to teach in our schools," he continued. "When I had a conversation with a principal yesterday, she was perplexed that she could not hire a 20-plus year veteran school teacher because she could not afford it. That's not right."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:55pm
Wed May 18

Chicago City Council Roundup: Aldermen Propose Privatizing Airport Security; Debt Transparency Ordinance Passes

From airport security to debt transparency, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

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.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:56pm
Tue Mar 10, 2015

Five Chicago Housing Providers Sued Over Alleged Discrimination Against The Deaf

The disability advocacy group Access Living is suing five Chicago housing providers for allegedly violating of the federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating against people who are deaf.

Access Living, in partnership with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, filed the five housing complaints -- based on "fair housing tests" that paired deaf and non-disabled testers -- in federal court on Tuesday.

"It's hard enough for people with disabilities to find accessible, affordable housing," Access Living's President and CEO Marca Bristo said at a news conference to announce the complaint filings. "But when people with disabilities face discrimination by housing providers, the struggle to find housing becomes exponentially more difficult."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:04pm
Fri Jan 30, 2015

Illinois Ranks Poorly On Well-Being Indicators; African-American Jobless Rate

Progress Illinois takes a look at two new reports. One ranks Illinois on "key poverty indicators," while the other examines unemployment rates among racial groups in the state.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:49pm
Mon Jan 12, 2015

Logan Square Community To Highlight Gentrification In Upcoming Event Series

Logan Square housing activists will kick off a series of community events this week on the topic of gentrification and its impact in the rapidly-changing Northwest Side neighborhood of Chicago.

The four-part gentrification discussion with residents, community groups, academics and others is being spearheaded by We Are/Somos Logan Square, a grassroots organization advocating for affordable housing and tenants rights. The group formed last January in response to the alleged displacement of longtime tenants in an apartment building acquired by M. Fishman & Co., a Logan Square property management firm that owns a number of properties in the gentrifying neighborhood.

The four events, running from this Wednesday through January 24, will touch on the history of gentrification and how it "actually works," its effects and what can be done to preserve racial and economic diversity in communities, with a focus on Logan Square, where property values and rents are escalating.

"Sometimes people think that gentrification is a natural force of some sort, but it really is not," said Amie Sell, outreach coordinator with We Are/Somos Logan Square.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:18pm
Tue Sep 2, 2014

Housing Needs Grow For An Aging America; Low-Income Illinoisans Struggle To Find Affordable Rentals

Progress Illinois takes a look at two recently-released housing reports. One highlights the growing housing needs of America's aging population, while the other examines the shortage of affordable rental units available for low-income households at the state and national levels.