Bronzeville group wants to increase property taxes to fund affordable housing on city lots

by alison on 1/12/07

A group called Housing Bronzeville wants the city to set aside 26 percent of city-owned vacant lots as affordable housing and fund the developments through a 0.9 percent increase in Bronzeville property taxes, according to reports in the Trib and RedEye. The group says there are about 1,156 such lots in the neighborhood and says the affordable housing would be available to families making between $34,000 and $51,000 a year.This from one local man: “If folks continue to be pushed out, you won’t have that [economic mix] that Bronzeville once shared. You’ll have a lot of, excuse the expression, buppies.”

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Carter January 12, 2007 at 10:14 AM

Am I the only one who wonders how fair and objective the process is for acquiring affordable housing?

Given all the nonsense in the news about hiring relatives and so on, are these units really being distributed fairly?

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Joe Zekas January 12, 2007 at 11:04 AM

It’s Chicago, Carter, so you don’t need to wonder.

It’s all a question of who gets to define “fairly.”

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Erm January 13, 2007 at 4:37 PM

Le me get this straight, the local man said, “If folks continue to be pushed out, you won’t have that [economic mix] that Bronzeville once shared. You’ll have a lot of, excuse the expression, buppies.”

Seems like some pretty racist comments from the local man to me. Let’s imagine, if as a spokesman of an organization, I were to say something stupid like, “well if you let these xxx people, or these poor people here, you will have, and excuse the expression, a huge Ghetto here…”

Racism is not right either way.

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Joe Zekas January 13, 2007 at 5:25 PM

I didn’t read the man’s remark as racist.

What I understood him saying was that, taking it for granted that the population would be largely black, it would tier out as mostly young professionals – and that lack of an economic mix is what he found objectionable.

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Tiffany July 25, 2007 at 7:21 PM

I agree with Joe. I’m a young African American professional who makes a decent living and am getting priced out of an area that I already call home. The city has to commit to its vision of mixed income housing and it can start by considering the proposal Housing Bronzeville is bringing to the table.

So, the local man is referring to people like me -a hard working, well-educated individual, who between helping take care of family members & paying back student loans doesn’t want to have to move b/c I’m not pulling in six figures, yet!

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futuredoc September 28, 2008 at 5:59 PM

Are they going to let the homeowners know they are going to raise they’re property taxes for this purpose? or will it be an an under the table dealing? People who don’t pay property taxes have no right to demand anything.I’m not against mixed income neighborhoods, mixed income should mean people who make $40K, 80K, and 120K are neighbors. And not section8 or other welfare programs living next to people with incomes $40K, 80K, and 120K .
People who are buying property don’t want to live in a poverty stricken neighborhood, and are counting on the rising property values to force the undesirables out. They fear they will lower their quality of life.
The man in the article said:If folks continue to be pushed out, you won’t have that [economic mix] that Bronzeville once shared. You’ll have a lot of, excuse the expression, buppies.”
Yes, I’m glad someone understands,that is the whole plan to turn the neighborhood into a vibrant livable communtiy!!!!!!!!
The community needs all the buppy’s/yuppys it can get, it is this community’s only hope to save itself from continuing to be another horrible filthy ghettoe and if people have to leave so be it. There are other affordable neighborhoods. What infuriates me is these people had the neighborhood for so long and didn’t do anything to change it from a dump and now they complain they will be pushed out. This is a perfect location for development close to downtown, u.s cellular field, IIT campus. How long did the residents think the city would let the ghettoe thrive in such a prime location. The city is desperate for a larger tax base. I hope redevolpment continues to stretch to kenwood and washington park, and woodlawn. Let’s get rid of some of these ghettoes.

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Dee Dee February 4, 2009 at 6:42 PM

As a longtime resident and property owner of a brownstone in Bronzeville, I feel that my property taxes should not be raised to fund mixed housing. I am in favor of mixed housing, however, no one is addressing the fact that continually raising property taxes will negatively affect the residents who live in Bronzeville. I am a niddle-age, college educated (BS degree), divorced mother of one child with an income around $29,000 per year. I do have a rental in my residence, however, finding and keeping good tenants is difficult; most people move just after 1 year. Each time people move, I have to re-decorate and that gets expensive, add raising property taxes and no rent coming in, well you get the picture…

Someone mentioned that the mixed housing should be for people who make 34,000 or more. What happens to me, if my taxes get so high that I have to move or possibly lose my building, which I inherited and has been in my family for over 90 years? Everyone has a right to live in a nice area, regardless of their income. And to defend people on section 8, it is not the fact the people are on section 8 that make them undesirable, it is how one lives, how one conduct themselves and what one contribute to the community, because that is what we are talking about “a community”… It is not just about yuppies/buppies, what kind of mindset is that?…

I think that there are other ways to fund mixed housing without raising property taxes. I resent that the government is “pricing” me out of my family home and I am scared to death about my families future. I know that my neighbors, who are also propperty owners, feel the same way I do,our taxes are astronomical and our properties are not “new” properties, but are being treated as such, which isn’t fair in itself, but who says the government is fair! The 7% cap helped, but since the government did away with that, most of us are struggling just to keep up with our raising tax bills and they will be going up again I think for 2010.. Why should we, as long time property owners, residents, and contributors to our community, be priced out?

No, I don’t agree with property taxes being raised for mixed income, but I think that there needs to be an open forum with Bronzeville residents to discuss options. Change is inevitable and that’s ok, however, it should be done with compassion and equitable to everyone involved.

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