Affordable Housing Advocates Look to TIF Funds For Answers

September 8, 2010

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Some Chicago advocacy groups hope a new report out Tuesday will pressure the city into spending money from special tax funds on affordable housing. The measure's been stuck in committee.

The study by Sweet Home Chicago says there are millions of unspent TIF dollars out there. The coalition of housing, neighborhood and union groups wants to divert 20 percent of that money for affordable housing. It could rehab foreclosed properties.

Julie Dworkin's the policy director for the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.

DWORKIN: Looking at the numbers in this report, you cannot deny we are sitting on a goldmine right now of money that can be used to help these communities that are desperately in need of it, and we are not acting on it.

A spokesperson for the mayor has said the city's already spending some of that money on affordable housing.

The coalition isn't the only group looking to these funds for answers. Some aldermen, and the Chicago Teachers Union,have suggested using any extra TIF money to fill budget deficits in the city or the schools.