News from the Chicago Rehab Network
30 years of Community Empowerment and Development without Displacement May 2011

In this issue

National Housing Trust Fund

CRN Releases Building Our Future Chicago Platform

Mayor Emanuel Appoints TIF Task Force; Seeks Streamlined Permit Process

Census Release: Illinois Demographic Profile

Affordable Housing Victories

Learn About Affordable Housing Financing

CCLF Sustainability Workshops

Last Day to Vote for LUCHA! Pepsi Refresh Project

Bethel New Life welcomes New president and CEO

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National Housing Trust Fund

A bill sponsored by Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) that seeks to abolish the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) is being considered by the House Financial Services Committee.

The bill is part of a
package of 7 bills to be introduced to end the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Tell your Representative that the NHTF is investment in affordable housing is a true economic stimulus; the development and preservation of affordable housing not only gives workers and employers access to affordable housing, but it also provides the economic engine that supports the vitality of communities and its ongoing economic recovery.

Call the Congressional switchboard at 877-210-5351 to be connected to your Representative's office.

  • CRN Releases Building Our Future Chicago Platform
  • Chicago Rehab Network's platform lays out a solution focused plan centered on an approach to development which engages the real estate market to build sustainable communities. These values include an intentional focus on 1) long-term value-added stewardship of household success through housing and community development 2) resident involvement and community-driven partnerships and 3) local training, hiring, and resource circulation.

    The five-point plan calls on the City to:

    • Deploy Expertise
    • Target Assets
    • Match Supply to Demand
    • Make an Affordable City
    • Invest for Sustainability

    The Platform was made possible with the input and participation of many community leaders, practitioners, and other stakeholders.

    Read the Building our Future Chicago Platform and download the accompanying Toolkit, Building Future Chicago Toolkit (15MB).

    Learn more about Building Our Future Chicago

  • Mayor Emanuel Appoints TIF Task Force; Seeks Streamlined Permit Process
  • Chicago's new Mayor has begun important steps to enhance the procedures and processes that could impact the way development is done in the City.

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently announced the formation of a task force on TIF reform to bring transparency, accountability and efficiency to the TIF system.

    TIF transparency has been a longstanding issue in the City. In 2009 the City passed the TIF Sunshine Ordinance which aimed to make public and easily accessible all documents pertaining to TIF Redevelopment Agreements. The Mayor's announcement also states that TIF data will be now available online at www.cityofchicago.org/TIF.

    According to the Mayor's office, the task force is charged with:

    • Crafting an overarching TIF policy with formal guiding principles. Accountability starts with a clear statement of goals;
    • Developing Return on Investment criteria that can be used to measure TIF performance and establish criteria to judge TIF success or need for reform;
    • Recommending concrete steps for increasing TIF transparency - by making TIF information easily accessible to taxpayers online and by incorporating TIF information into the City's main budget;
    • Evaluating the role that the TIF program plays in the overall City budget.

    The task force will work on the TIF issue over the next three months, after which their findings and recommendations will be included into the FY 2012 budget.

    Task force members include: Carole Brown, Chair; Carrie M. Austin, Alderman, 34th Ward; Adela Cepeda, Owner and President of A.C. Advisory, Inc; Bruce J. Katz, Vice President, Brookings Institution; Melinda Kelly, Executive Director, Chatham Business Association Small Business Development Inc; Steve Koch, Vice Chairman and Co-Chairman, Credit Suisse; Andrew J. Mooney, Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Economic Development; Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation; Julia Stasch, Vice President of US Programs at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Rachel Weber, Associate Professor, Urban Planning and Policy Program, University of Illinois at Chicago

    Building Permit Process

    Mayor Emanuel and Department of Housing and Economic Development Commissioner Andrew Mooney has also recognized the need to streamline the building permit process.

    According to a Tribune article, the administration is currently investigating ways to expedite the permitting process. While the idea is not new, Mayor Emanuel has taken a different approach; the administration has already partnered with University of Chicago to expedite its permit process for its five-year capital construction plan in exchange for aligning its growth with the City's own plan for the surrounding neighborhoods, such as expanding transportation and economic development opportunities.

    The article also mentions that a new interagency task force on the expedited permit process, overseen Commissioner Mooney, will be formed and charged with the development of new rules or technology upgrades.

  • Census Release: Illinois Demographic Profile
  • Detailed demographic profiles for Illinois, smaller regions and metropolitan areas were released last week by the U.S. Census. The demographic profiles provide 2010 Census data on age and sex distributions, race, Hispanic or Latino origin, household relationship and type, the group quarters population, housing occupancy, and ownership and renter statistics. Initial findings for the City of Chicago show:

    • Chicago is getting older: The median age increase to 32.9 years, from 31.5 in 2000.
    • Housing is being built but fewer households occupy units: Total housing units increased by 3.6 percent, while occupancy declined by about 1.5 percent since 2000.
    • Chicago is a city of renters: Among occupied housing units, 44.9 percent were owned, and 55 percent were rented.
    • Rentership is on the rise. The demand for rental housing has been increasing since after the recession. The number of renters in Chicago is up by 1 percent from the previous year, but is still 3.5 percent below 2000 numbers.

    Stay tuned for more CRN analysis of Census data. For more information about the 2010 Census, visit http://2010.census.gov

  • Affordable Housing Victories
  • Two affordable housing developments that have been enmeshed in contentious NIMBY battles reached crucial victories in the last month.

    In April, a judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against the City of Chicago and Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation by a group opposing the development Zapata Apartments. The group filed the complaint over the City's approval of the rezoning of four parcels for the development of Zapata.

    Zapata Apartments will consist of 61 residential units and approximately 3,000 square feet of community space in four newly-constructed buildings on 4 separate sites along the Armitage Avenue corridor in Logan Square that have been vacant for more than two decades. The project will serve families earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income, or $45,060 for a family of four, with 18 units for families earning at or below 30% of the Area Median Income, or $22,550 for a family of four.

    The Court ruled the lawsuit as "deficient in law" and reinforced that the lots have been vacant for a number of years and the development will provide housing to low- and moderate-income families and other benefits. Thus, it found the City to have a rational and "legitimate interest of maintaining density and diversity" through development like Zapata.

    The decision allowed the City and Bickerdike to move forward with Zapata. Last month, the City of Chicago Community Development Commission approved the allocation of TIF dollars from the Fullerton/Milwaukee TIF to Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation for Zapata.

    Another win for affordable housing occurred in Oak Park, where a proposal by Interfaith Housing Development Corporation to convert a vacant two-story Comcast building on Madison and Grove Avenue into a four-story, 51 one- bedroom apartments was approved. The development will serve individuals or single-parent with one child with incomes less than $26,400 a year with preference to those who already like in Oak Park. The project will be undertaken in partnership with the Oak Park Housing Authority and Catholic Charities.

    Photo: Rendering of one of the Zapata Apartments buildings

  • Learn About Affordable Housing Financing
  • Proforma2011

    Interested in learning how to use different sources of financing to keep housing affordable?

    Take advantage of our expertise and build your capacity to benefit your community with:

    Sources of Development Financing June 9 & 10, 2011
    June 9 & 10, 2011

    Developing affordable housing is a challenging process that requires layering of financing to achieve the goal of affordability. This workshop will familiarize your staff with the mechanics of securing development capital, debt and equity financing as well as grants and subsidies.

    Register today! Space is limited. Please contact Erin at [email protected] or visit www.chicagorehab.org/capacity/empowerment.htm to register today!

    Also register now for these trainings:

    Single Family Housing Development: July 14 & 15
    You will learn about all facets of developing single family housing, including how to assemble a development team, acquire property, secure financing, and conduct successful marketing.

    Multifamily Housing Development: August 11 & 12
    The development process, acquisition, sources of financing, development team, and legal issues will all be discussed.

    Photo: Students at the Proforma Development and Analysis workshop in April

  • CCLF Sustainability Workshops
  • There are two workshops left in Chicago Community Loan Fund's Sustainability 101 workshop series: Session 2 on June 17th will cover Operations and Implementation and the final session on July 15 will cover Programs, Practices and Resources. Learn more by visiting CCLF.

  • Last Day to Vote for LUCHA! Pepsi Refresh Project
  • CRN Member, Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA) is a competitor for a $25,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project to preserve affordable housing and historic murals in Humboldt Park. The Refresh Project is a competitive grant opportunity and you can vote for LUCHA's idea to help them win!

    How you can help: You can vote for LUCHA by visiting www.refresheverything.com/humboldtparkchicago and by texting Pepsi (73774) the message 105998. You can also paste the link to your Facebook page or email your contacts to share our project.

    Today is the last day to vote and LUCHA needs to reach the top 15 to win. If you have any questions, please contact Zoe Lukens at [email protected] or 773-276-5338 ext. 232.

  • Bethel New Life welcomes New president and CEO
  • Lori R. Vallelunga, Ph.D., has been selected as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of Bethel New Life, CRN member and a community development corporation that serves more than 8,000 families on Chicago's West side each year.

    Dr. Vallelunga comes to Bethel from The Hope Institute for Children and Families, where she most recently served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Development. She was responsible for the development, implementation, management and evaluation of programs to deliver educational, residential and health services to 29,000 children with multiple developmental disabilities across Illinois.

    Dr. Vallelunga began her career as a clinical psychologist serving the Humboldt Park neighborhood and has held key leadership positions with medical and social service organizations in Chicago, Chicago Heights, South Chicago and Springfield.

    We look forward to working with Dr. Vallelunga in her new role.

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  • The Chicago Rehab Network is the oldest and largest coalition of non-profit community developers and practitioners in the Midwest.

    CRN works to provide a foundation for new strategies for effective policy, communications, training and technical assistance to support the development and preservation of affordable housing across Chicago.

    You can support our work by spreading the word about CRN or by making a donation.

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    Kevin Jackson [email protected]
    Chicago Rehab Network http://www.chicagorehab.org