[remote or in person] Committee on Housing and Real Estate

Chicago City Council

Wednesday, March 13, 2024
12:30 p.m. — 3:00 p.m. CDT

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121 N LaSalle St Chicago, IL 60602 (Directions)

City Hall, 2nd floor, Council Chambers

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Edited and summarized by the Chicago - IL Documenters Team

Note-taking by Christian Gentry

Commissioners from the Department of Housing (DOH) presented a progress report of the city’s 2019-2023 five-year housing plan.

Live reporting by Parker Garlough

Commissioners from the Department of Housing (DOH) presented a progress report of the city’s 2019-2023 five-year housing plan.

Parker Garlough @parker_garlough
Hi, I’ll be live-tweeting today's Committee on Housing and Real Estate hearing for #CHIdocumenters @CHIdocumenters

12:21 PM Mar 13, 2024 CDT

Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 2/34
Chairperson Bryon Sigcho-Lopez has called the meeting to order. 10 members are present in person, and 2 are present virtually.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 3/34
Tori Nicholson begins public comment by speaking about exorbitant ($350-700/person) move-in/move-out fees, and states that they should be illegal. She also argues in favor of rent control, and that renters should be allowed to terminate a lease upon purchase of a home.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 4/34
"What is happening at 3522 South State is criminal and immoral." She cites conditions including illegal lockouts and elevator shutdowns, saying the landlord and HOA have neglected to address complaints about living conditions.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 5/34
Next public comment speaker (didn't catch her name) says that housing policy should focus on Black residents, not immigrants. "They're illegal, they haven't paid a dime to be here, but all eyes are on them." She blames them for gentrification.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 6/34
Michael Youngbay (unsure on spelling) echoes her concerns. He expresses anger at unclean living conditions.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 7/34
George Blakemore says he is concerned only with self-preservation for himself and the Black community, and urges "Black people in high places" to do the same.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 8/34
"Don't tell me nothing about the law," he says repeatedly. It's unclear whether he's discussing illegal evictions or undocumented immigration.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 9/34
Tewon Simms, a homeless person, says he has not received sufficient support from city services despite having called repeatedly. He requests that the committee members help him find housing.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 10/34
Almost all public comment speakers spoke past the allotted time, after their microphones were shut off. Sigcho-Lopez calmly thanked each of them for their contributions.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 11/34
Two written comments were submitted, but they were not read aloud.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 12/34
Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Housing Authority representative, urges the committee to renew an agreement to continue hearing tenant grievances, as required by state law.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 13/34
Alderperson La Spata requests information on tenants' experiences with the grievance hearing process. Rizzo says there is no formal survey in place to measure their satisfaction.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 14/34
La Spata asks about proportion of votes in favor of tenants versus landlords. No direct answer is provided.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 15/34
Alderwoman Taylor requests that the motion be put on hold until the committee can have a meeting with the CHA, which she says has "been problematic for years." Her request is granted.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 16/34
La Spata proposes a municipal code amendment that would extend demolition surcharge, which he says would curb the unnecessary demolition of housing. He says the policy has helped prevent 88% of unnecessary demolitions.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 17/34
Demolition surcharge is already part of the municipal code; La Spata and Ramirez-Rosa are working to extend the ordinance through 2024 instead of letting it expire at the end of April. It affects the 1st, 25th, 26th, and 35th Wards.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 18/34
Alderperson Jessica Fuentes says unnecessary demolitions contribute to gentrification, citing instances where housing is demolished and replaced by more expensive homes that house fewer people.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 19/34
The committee votes in favor of recommending the ordinance to the city council.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 20/34
Ernest Bellamy, with the department of planning and development, puts forward an agreement that would allow K Town BCP LLC to purchase eleven vacant lots to expand a parking lot.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 21/34
The proposed parking lot would have space for 133 vehicles. It is located at 4704 - 4738 West Fifth Ave, and would be used for a facility in construction at 4646 W Fifth Avenue.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 22/34
An alderperson says the project would revive an area that has been a "dumping ground" filled with "street walkers" (sex workers). She says she is proud that the facility is a Black-owned business.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 23/34
Mr. Davis, owner of K-Town, thanks the committee for their support and expresses pride that his company currently employs 200 people.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 24/34
Alderperson Scott
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 25/34
James Michaels, from the Department of Planning of Development, proposes selling a parcel city-owned property under Adjacent Neighbors Land Acquisition
Program. The committee approves.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 26/34
DPD recommends selling vacant city-owned property at 355 N Kedzie to 345 Art Gallery. The committee approves.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 27/34
Taylor Thompson, DPD representative, requests approval of an ordinance that would sell various city-owned parcels to applicants under the ChiBlockBuilder program.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 28/34
There are six parcels. Each one, if approved, would become a community space—mostly community gardens. The committee votes to recommend the sale.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 29/34
An update on the most recent five-year plan.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 30/34
DPD says increased construction costs and "soft costs" caused them to go over budget.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 31/34
New (in the past 5 years) affordable housing complexes include the 5th City Commons (celebrated for its environmental sustainability) and the Island Terrace Apartments.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 32/34
Currently in progress: United Yards 1a, with 51 affordable units; Lakeview Landing, with 37 affordable units for tenants with limited mobility.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 33/34
New five-year plan is underway; members of the steering committtee have been announced, and it will guide priorities for 2024-2028.
Parker Garlough @parker_garlough 34/34
The meeting is adjourned.


Agency Information

Chicago City Council

The Chicago City Council is the legislative branch of the government of the City of Chicago and consists of the Mayor and Aldermen elected from each of the City’s fifty wards. Source

If you attend a meeting in person, be prepared to go through a security checkpoint and show photo ID.

Meetings are also livestreamed at https://www.chicityclerk.com/.

At this link, scroll down to “Meeting Notices.” Look for “Watch now” and click on the link with the meeting title to go to a livestream page. If you don’t see a link for the meeting, you may be early or the meeting may be starting late. Wait a few moments and try refreshing your Internet tab.

Recordings of past City Council meetings may be found here: https://vimeo.com/user100351763/videos/sort:date.

See also: “What to Expect at a Meeting of Chicago’s City Council” via the Better Government Association.



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