Chicago "affordable housing"

6 Replies | Chicago, Illinois

Yesterday, I learned that numerous former Chicago public school district schools on the South side are going to be auctioned off this fall.  The listing agent believes that the most likely bidders will be Chicago "affordable housing" developers.  Apparently, the most likely use of these properties would be new-build construction for affordable housing.  I'm not sure how such an "affordable housing" program works thru the city.  As someone who owns rental properties on the South side, and very near one the properties to be auctioned, I am concerned about a potential increase in supply of rental units which would drive up vacancy.  However, I've seen very little new construction at all on the South side.  Should I be concerned?  Is there a city program that encourages new-build affordable housing?

"Is there a city program that encourages new-build affordable housing?"


The mayor is pushing for affordable housing even though Chicago does not have an affordable housing  problem. People seem to think that gentrification is evil and poor people have a right to live in expensive neighborhoods simply because they could afford those neighborhoods before. I guess that upping sticks and moving as a result of market forces is a violation of human rights.

So there should be an increase in supply, but you will be better off for it if the new supply and new people coming in begin the gentrification process in your area.

@John Clark - I found one study that showed home values were 11% higher than the national average.  Can't find anything about rents.  I find it hard to believe.

Originally posted by @Ryan Fox :

@John Clark - I found one study that showed home values were 11% higher than the national average.  Can't find anything about rents.  I find it hard to believe.

I believe that. Statistics are crap - they can be manipulated to "prove" any position with half-truths. The average income in Chicago is almost 14% higher than the national average, so when you consider that it makes home values actually seem like a bargain. Also consider that the national average, or even averages in Illinois, is heavily skewed by all of the rural areas and how low their values/rents are. For instance, a HUGE portion of Illinois has 2BR rents for around $500-$550. You won't find that in an urban center like Chicago. I've seen "studies" that take the average rent in Chicago (which gets skewed by high income $10k/mo+ rents), and average that with say the average rent in say Urbana, and use that as the average to compare against without taking into account the # of rentals in each.

Chicago neighborhoods are going through natural changes that cycle over the years and change the demographic makeups. When I spoke in front of a senate committee last year, I stated, "Lets assume housing should be a right - but housing where you want it, how you want it, and for the amount you want to pay is not a right". Chicago doesn't have an affordable housing problem, for instance I have multiple 2BR apartments in great shape for $750/mo. But these affordable housing advocates simply don't want to live where my rentals are. They forget that 40 years ago, their demographic was the newcomers to the areas they are fighting to stay in, and their demographic displaced that area's residents. And so the cycle continues...

@John Clark

You are correct! There is no shortage of “affordable” housing in Chicago. What they mean is ‘there is a shortage of 2000 square foot newly rehabbed 3 bedroom 2 bath homes with garages that rent for $750/month.’ They make a mockery of the term affordable housing and tenants now believe that’s what they deserve.

@Ryan Fox I own quite a few apartments in the Berwyn and Cicero area, and in general these communities are considered "affordable" because the average 1 bedroom apartment is still under 1k per month. The people in these areas can afford $1200-1300 per month for a 2 bedroom because the incomes are relatively high due to proximity to the city. The whole term "affordable" is kind of a dumb term... it is very subjective!