Chicago's seniors threatened by gentrification and rising home costs

Of all the groups threatened by gentrification and soaring mortage payments, senior citizens might be the most at-risk. This singular demographic is the focus of a new feature article from the always-impressive Chicago Reporter.

The mag looked closely at the statistics and found that the city lost about 50,000 seniors from 1990 to 2006; at the same time, senior populations in suburban Cook County swelled by about 11 percent.

Rapid condo development occurred in seven of the 10 community areas where the highest percentages of seniors moved between 2000 and 2007.

The statistics are troubling, says Lori Clark, executive director of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus, a grassroots nonprofit that addresses quality of life issues for senior citizens.

“Seniors add value to the communities. They are mentors to young children. They’re the most active volunteers in a community. They’re your good neighbors, your quiet neighbors, the people who care about keeping the community in good condition,” Clark said. “The people who helped build the city of Chicago shouldn’t be thrown away.”

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