Chicagoans staged a demonstration Sunday at the city's Lathrop Homes, a public housing development near the Logan Square and Bucktown neighborhoods.
The protest, organized by community and faith organizations, came after the Chicago City Council's Zoning Committee approved redevelopment plans last week for the Lathrop Homes. Under the plan, the publicly-subsidized homes will be converted into a mixed-use development, with 1,208 units, including 400 for public housing. The project also calls for retail space totaling 50,000 square feet.
Protesters expressed concern over the expected loss of 525 of the 925 public housing units at the Lathrop Homes, at which about 140 units are currently occupied.
"This is a land grab, pure and simple," Lathrop resident J.L. Gross told the Chicago Sun-Times. "It's all about tax revenue. A mixed-income development brings in a lot of tax money."
Ald. Joe Moreno's 1st Ward encompasses the Lathrop Homes. He has stated that the Chicago Housing Authority has issued a written commitment to install the 525 public housing units elsewhere on the city's North Side.
At the protest, Kimball Avenue Church pastor Bruce Ray said protesters want more than "a vaguely worded commitment to create 525 units."
"[T]here's no where, there's no when, there's no accountability and they haven't offered any information on how they would fund such a thing," he told the newspaper. "We don't need more market-rate housing in this community ... What we need is affordability."
Click through for Progress Illinois' past coverage of the controversial Lathrop Homes redevelopment plan.