Committee For Change: Sweet Home Chicago Ordinance Not So Sweet For Concerned 27th Ward Homeowners

Sweet Home Chicago ordinance has residents of 900 N. Kingsbury, the Montgomery Ward complex in the 27th Ward, concerned

Online PR News – 27-January-2011 – – CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Alderman Burnett's Sweet Home Chicago proposal has residents in his ward concerned about their most-prized investment. The proposal if passed would use tax increment monies to buy foreclosed, abandoned, and vacant residential property for affordable housing including condominiums.

Most condominium associations have limited the number of units available for rent. Banks require units to be mostly owner-occupied, and will not approve financing if the association has a high percentage of renters. A general threshold for lenders is 30%.

Affordable housing, or Section 8, is considered rental property and goes toward any rental cap. Foreclosed condominiums purchased under the plan and used for affordable housing artificially increases the number of rental units. Owners could be blocked from renting their properties causing distressed homeowners to foot the bill for two homes, suffer foreclosure, or sell well below the market rate to prevent a total loss.

Another issue is the exact percentage of money contributed by the over 100 Chicago Tax Increment Financing Districts, or TIF’s. The current proposal requires a mandatory 20% of all TIF money to be used under the Sweet Home Chicago Ordinance. However, many TIF Districts restrict the use of their funds. Eligible TIF districts participating in the plan could make that percentage higher depleting funds for vital TIF projects like developing new commercial and business properties out of blighted areas to increase tax revenue and promote jobs.

Tom Courtney (, a 27th Ward Alderman candidate, received several calls from concerned residents regarding their opposition to the plan including residents at 900 North Kingsbury, the Montgomery Ward Complex. Courtney stated he is in favor of Alderman O’Connor’s plan of setting a 10% goal for affordable housing using TIF resources, but no mandatory set aside, as proposed by Burnett.

About The Committee For Change:
The Committee for Change in the 27th Ward of Chicago was launched in July 2010 to encourage positive change. The not-for-profit corporation and political action committee is committed to representing the best interests of residents in Chicago's 27th Ward. The campaign has put together several ideas and plans to continue to develop innovative solutions to improve the City of Chicago.

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