Housing Crunch – Helping Renters

August 24th, 2009

How has the economic slowdown affected city planning and affordable housing development? How can public officials best target limited resources to produce the maximum impact when budgets are crunched? What are neighborhood housing advocates doing to cope with the growing foreclosure crisis? How are private landlords coping with rising vacancy rates and operating costs?Chicago is nationally renowned for its vibrant neighborhood development sector, energetic community organizations and a mayor whose administration is transforming public housing and promoting green development policies. But signs of the recession abound: home foreclosures are up 48% from a year ago; over 40% of homeowners and 50% of renters pay more than 30% of their income for shelter. Thousands of renters are on public housing waiting lists; households are doubling up in apartments as people are laid off; 17,000 units of federally subsidized housing could disappear in two years and a record 12,000 students were identified are homeless during the last school year.

On this edition of Community Media & You we talk with some experts about the impact of the distressed economy on our city’s housing sector and how Chicago is responding to the challenges it faces. Joining me are: Julie Dworkin, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless; Jay Travis
Kenwood Oakland Community Organization; and Ellen Sahli, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Community Development.

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