|Housing Plan Profile: Chicago, IL
Plan title: Build Preserve Lead: A Housing Agenda for Chicago's Neighborhoods [PDF], available on the Department of Housing's web site.
Overview: This plan, prepared in 2003 by an advisory panel convened by the Department of Housing, is a successor to the previous 5-year (1999-2003) plan for affordable housing in Chicago. The plan sets the agenda for the City's housing-related activities over a 5-year period, led by the Department of Housing and in conjunction with other agencies. The plan is organized into five sections: build, preserve, assist households, lead, and execute; which address the creation of new housing units, preservation of existing housing, stabilization of current residents, advocacy around policy and funding initiatives, and the allocation of resources to carry out program goals.
Photo credit: Mark Ballogg, Ballogg Photography, Inc.; courtesy of Landon Bone Baker
Financing Sources Identified:
- Preserving Communities Together program -- the City conveys abandoned properties buildings to applicants, who pay administrative fees associated with acquisition of the property and rehab the buildings to return them to productive use.
- Acquire vacant single family homes for reintroduction to productive, affordable use through purchase of foreclosed homes or foreclosure on City-imposed liens, non-cash bids on tax delinquent properties, abandonment proceedings, and HUD foreclosed property disposition.
- Troubled Building Initiatives -- acquire troubled buildings and transfer ownership to affordable housing developers for rehabilitation.
- Add affordable housing to downtown density bonus system, to allow developers increased density in exchange for providing affordable units or paying into an affordable housing fund.
- Create a new Affordable Housing Task Force, consisting of commissioners of key City departments related to affordable housing, to track affordable housing efforts, improve policy and program coordination, and streamline the development process.
- In cooperation with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and its Plan for Transformation of public housing, expand production of supportive housing, and use tax credits and other incentives to create mixed-income, mixed-tenure communities.
- Support and expand homebuyer assistance programs, including partnerships with the Chicago Public Schools and Police Department; City Mortgage, offering low-cost loans and downpayment and closing cost assistance; and TaxSmart, a mortgage credit certificate entitling first-time homebuyers to a federal income-tax deduction.
- Encourage the continued affordability of federally assisted housing stock with expiring use restrictions by expanding the use of the City's tax-exempt bonding capacity for preservation of subsidized developments and refinancing expiring project-based Section 8 buildings through the Mark-to-Market program.
- Prevent deterioration and preserve the affordability of privately-owned rental units by offering subsidies to help pay for rehab costs, tax relief for rehabbed buildings with affordable units, and connecting owners with low-cost funding sources for acquisition or repair of multifamily buildings.
- Help renters stay stably housed through continuation of the Rents Right program (educating landlords and tenants about rental rights and responsibilities), provision of legal assistance and advocacy for tenants, and Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund programs, which provide rent subsidies to owners of qualified buildings, forgivable loans to developers who agree to reduce rents, and rent assistance and supportive services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
- Stabilize existing homeowners by offering an Emergency Housing Assistance Program for emergency repairs, providing incentives for rehab and improvements in energy efficiency and exterior appearance, and expanding the rehab tax credit, originally part of the Historic Chicago Bungalow Initiative, to include other single family property types.
- Strengthen the network of homeownership counseling centers to improve pre- and post-purchase counseling, and foreclosure prevention, with an emphasis on certification to standardize the type and quality of services offered.
- Chicago Low Income Housing Trust Fund, capitalized with City, State, and Federal funds
- General obligation and tax-exempt bonds
- City corporate funds
- Neighborhood Housing Services Neighborhood Lending Program (loans that support home improvement, home safety repairs, home purchase, and home rehabilitation for low- and moderate-income families)
- Tax increment financing proceeds
- Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit
- Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, funded by proceeds from the mortgage document recording fee
- Low Income Housing Tax Credit
- Federal funds -- CDBG, HOME, Section 8, Mark-to-Market
Written by an advisory panel convened by the Department of Housing.
The lead agency is the Department of Housing, other partners identified include the Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Continuum of Care, Office for People with Disabilities, Chicago Partnership for Affordable Neighborhoods, Department of Buildings, Neighborhood Housing Services, Chicago Public Schools, Department of Energy, and Department of Environment
The timeline is identified; this is a 5-year plan, and production goals are specified with quarterly progress reports issued. The target population includes households that earn at or below 60 percent of area median income (AMI), who should be able to afford 80 percent of overall units assisted; 85 percent of rental housing units assisted are targeted to serve households that earn at or less than 50 percent of AMI.