Mayoral Candidates Weigh In On Affordable Housing, Rent Control

In East Woodlawn, the city of Chicago is the single largest landowner. Much of the property it owns is vacant. As residents worry about what the future Obama Presidential Center means for the area, the city has the most power to reshape the community in years to come.
In East Woodlawn, the city of Chicago is the single largest landowner. Much of the property it owns is vacant. As residents worry about what the future Obama Presidential Center means for the area, the city has the most power to reshape the community in years to come. Photo illustration by Paula Friedrich/WBEZ
In East Woodlawn, the city of Chicago is the single largest landowner. Much of the property it owns is vacant. As residents worry about what the future Obama Presidential Center means for the area, the city has the most power to reshape the community in years to come.
In East Woodlawn, the city of Chicago is the single largest landowner. Much of the property it owns is vacant. As residents worry about what the future Obama Presidential Center means for the area, the city has the most power to reshape the community in years to come. Photo illustration by Paula Friedrich/WBEZ

Mayoral Candidates Weigh In On Affordable Housing, Rent Control

The Obama Presidential Center that’s slated for Jackson Park on Chicago’s South Side is expected to boost tourism.

But residents around the Woodlawn and Washington Park neighborhoods fear it’ll also bring rising rents and home prices—forcing many of them out.

Some of those residents turned out last night at UIC to hear mayoral candidates talk about affordable housing.

Six of the 21 candidates shared their thoughts on how to best protect current residents while also bringing more economic development to the area. Those candidates were Lori Lightfoot, Toni Preckwinkle, Amara Enyia, Garry McCarthy, Dorothy Brown, and Jaymal Green.

And all of them said they support what’s known as a “community benefits agreement” for the the Obama Center, something that puts them at odds with both the Obama Foundation and the President himself.

Morning Shift sat down with Devondrick Jeffers, the housing organizer for the group Southside Together Organizing for Power (STOP), the group who pushed for the ballot measure, and Leah Levinger, director of the Chicago Housing Initiative, the group that organized Tuesday’s candidate forum on affordable housing.

LEARN MORE: South Side Voters Will Get A (Non-Binding) Vote On Whether Obama Center Needs A Community Benefits Agreement (Block Club Chicago 11/27/18)