Over at the Chicago Reporter's Muckrakers blog, Alden Loury sets the stage for possible City Council action on the Sweet Home Chicago Ordinance today with a dataset that lays out housing market troubles, broken down by ward. Among other stats, the Reporter shows the rise or fall of home foreclosures between 2009 and 2010, the percentage of homeowners paying a cost-burned mortgage, and the percentage of people paying high rents for their units.
The Sweet Home ordinance, one of the most substantial affordable housing bills City Council has debated in years, in its original form proposed reserving at least 20 pecent of the City of Chicago's annual take from its many tax increment financing districts for affordable housing projects, including foreclosure mitigation. At the February council meeting, aldermen voted 28-19 to table the bill as well as a competing measure offered by Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th Ward) that affordable housing campaigners say would undercut the city's housing goals. Community-based organizations have led the broad coalition of groups actively fighting for the Sweet Home bill's passage.
Loury's analysis of the troubled housing data in the 28 wards with aldermen who voted last month to stall Sweet Home is worth quoting at length:
While some wards are saddled more with foreclosures and high housing
costs, no ward is immune to the problem. In fact, a Chicago Reporter
analysis shows that the needs are even greater in the wards of the 28
aldermen who voted to table a vote on the ordinance at the Feb. 9th
council meeting. Among those wards, foreclosures have increased slightly
higher than in the wards of aldermen who voted not to table the
ordinance. In addition, the percentage of mortgage-paying households and
rent-paying households that pay at least 30 percent of their income for
mortgage, rent and associated costs is slightly higher in the wards of
aldermen who voted to table the ordinance.
We'll update Progress Illinois later in the day about what happens to the Sweet Home bill.
UPDATE: There was no City Council vote on the Sweet Home bill nor on O'Connor's competing ordinance at today's meeting, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless' Julie Dworkin confirms. She said the Sweet Home Coalition proposed a final compromise of setting a goal -- and not, significantly, a mandate -- of using 15 percent of the city's TIF dollars for affordable housing, among other provisions. Dworkin said the ordinance's backers will regroup and consider their options as the new City Council forms. "The real story is the total stifling of democracy. Maybe there was not enough supporters for [Sweet Home] to pass, but for it never to have been voted on says a lot about how the city works," she said. Ald. Walter Burnett (27th Ward), the lead sponsor of the ordinance, could not be immediately reached.