(Chicago) – A new five-year housing plan for the City of Chicago was presented to City Council on Wednesday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said the plan will provide an “important roadmap” for housing-related public investments in local neighborhoods through 2018.
“…[T]he plan outlines City investments of more than $1.3 billion toward the construction, rehab, and preservation of more than 41,000 units of housing citywide,” said Emanuel.
As the fifth consecutive five-year housing plan to be issued by the City since 1994, Emanuel said the “Bouncing Back” plan approaches local housing issues with a different perspective than its predecessors, which were “largely influenced by the perception of a rising housing market across the city”.
Given the unprecedented housing market decline in recent years, the 2014-2018 plan explicitly recognizes that the City’s housing submarkets are directly linked to variables involving economic development, jobs, quality of life amenities, land use patterns, and other factors, according to mayor.
“With more housing data available than ever before, the plan establishes a process to analyze and refine the City’s housing strategies at the neighborhood level,” said Andrew Mooney, commissioner of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD).
“The plan’s ‘sectoral’ perspective distinctly recognizes areas with growing, stable, marginal and weak demand, and it addresses each sector with an appropriate level of public resources that cater to its individual needs,” Mooney stated.
The City’s housing resources include a variety of local, state, and federal programs that help support the development and operation of single-family and multi-unit structures within the city.
Despite significant cutbacks in federal assistance to urban housing needs, the 2014-2018 plan projects approximately the same production levels as the 2009-2013 plan, Emanuel says.
The 2014-2018 plan includes strategies to:
- Target resources geographically for maximum impact
- Advance new land-use policies in neighborhoods with large vacant areas
- Develop new financing programs for housing rehabilitation programs
- Encourage innovative re-use options for vacant and abandoned buildings
- Integrate housing into broader community-development plans
The mayor said that the planning process was initiated by DPD in early 2013 with help from more than 120 housing experts, activists, builders and owners.
A 20-member steering committee was co-chaired by Julia Stasch, vice president of U.S. programs for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Susana Vasquez, executive director of the Chicago office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation; and Deborah Bennett, program officer of the Polk Brothers Foundation; as well as a 60-member advisory group.
Pending its approval by City Council, the “Bouncing Back” plan will be administered by DPD in conjunction with sister agencies. DPD’s Housing Bureau will provide quarterly production reports to the City Council’s Committee on Housing through 2018.
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