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Preserving Affordable Housing in Gentrifying Chicago Neighborhoods

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March 17, 2022  

Preserving Affordable Housing in Gentrifying Chicago Neighborhoods

The In Depth section on HUD User’s Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse (RBC) takes a closer look at innovative state and local strategies, activities, and plans to mitigate the impacts of regulations on the development of affordable housing. Each In Depth article highlights a particular plan, ordinance, or strategy in the RBC database and elaborates on aspects such as the approval process, stakeholder participation, and the progress made in reducing regulatory barriers.

The city of Chicago passed three ordinances in 2021 to mitigate the effects of gentrification in the Pilsen neighborhood and the communities surrounding the western portion of a linear park known as "the 606." Specifically, these laws are designed to limit the conversions of two- to six-unit flats, which are naturally affordable to many longtime residents, into less dense and more expensive housing. Two ordinances ban the construction of single-family houses (as well as two-plex flats in Pilsen) on certain blocks, while the third ordinance imposes a demolition surcharge on residential structures and directs the revenue to a community land trust. These measures are intended to allow residents continued access to affordable housing and amenities in Pilsen and along the 606.

Visit HUD User’s RBC In Depth page to learn more about the ordinances in Pilsen and the 606 West area, as well as other plans and initiatives that state and local governments have enacted to reduce impediments to affordable housing.

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