0219 Lightfoot

Left to right: Alds. Jeanette Taylor (20th), Michael Scott Jr. (24th), Sophia King (4th) and Mayor Lori Lightfoot at her press conference following the Feb. 19 City Council meeting.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot declared Wednesday that opposition in City Council to the still-in-development Affordable Housing Ordinance comes from a single alderman, Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th).

The mayor told a press conference after the Feb. 19 Council meeting that her administration’s efforts enjoy local support.

"We've heard a lot of response from other residents of Woodlawn who understand exactly what we're doing and are actually very supportive of the efforts," Lightfoot said. "Ald. Taylor asked for some more information, which we provided her last week. We're waiting to hear back from her, but we need to move forward. So we'll hopefully engage in a productive conversation with her and others, but we've got to look at the entire scope of people in Woodlawn, not just one sliver."

Asked whether the ordinance would come out in March, the mayor said, "We'll see."

As the Council met, Crain's Chicago Business reported that the record home sale price in Woodlawn was broken on Feb. 10, when a new home on South Ellis Avenue sold for $759,000. It sold for $700,000 early last year.

After the press conference, Taylor reiterated her promise to do whatever it takes to protect Woodlawn. Before the meeting, Taylor stressed that she was waiting to see the finalized ordinance and is hopeful that it could be revised so that she could support it.

"We have nothing with teeth yet," she said. "Once we get (one) with teeth, we can do some more negotiating."

Taylor said her staff would meet on Feb. 24 with the Woodlawn community members, Housing Department representatives and Ald. Leslie Hairston's (5th) staff to discuss the legislation.

In a statement, the Housing Department confirmed that efforts with local alderman "and a working group of community leaders and stakeholders" continue in order "to draft an ordinance that protects existing residents, while also creating home ownership opportunities and encouraging inclusive growth in the Woodlawn community."

(1) comment

Ross Petersen

The article failed to mention the size of the area impacted. Originally it was two miles. Now, the city has suggested 3/5th's of a mile. A CBA is not a new invention, they've been used to stabilize neighborhoods, guarantee jobs at the OPC, freeze real estate taxes on long time owners, control rents. It appears from the article what the city is offering is substantially less. I'd further point out that a referendum in support of a CBA passed overwhelmingly, and Mayor Lightfoot ran on a promise for a CBA. Is it possible to compare what the city is suggesting versus what Alderman Taylor seeks?

I fully support Alderman Taylor, and urge a CBA "with teeth" be passed. Freeze RE taxes, control rents, allow residents to remain.

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