Explore our content

All types | All dates | All authors


Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri May 17, 2013

Report: Chicago Homeowners Lost $3.1 Billion In Wealth Last Year, Communities Of Color Hit The Hardest

The city of Chicago lost more than $3.1 billion in wealth, or about $2,900 per household, in 2012 as a result of the foreclosure crisis, according to a new report from the Alliance for a Just Society.

And more than $192 billion in homeowner wealth was lost nationally last year, the new analysis shows.

Communities of color in Chicago saw more foreclosures and lost wealth per household compared to other communities.

In 2012, the average Chicago household in zip codes with the highest concentration of people of color lost $3,700 in wealth, the “Wasted Wealth” (PDF) report found.

In comparison, the average wealth lost in segregated white communities was about $1,300 per household.

“Seeing this loss of wealth per household is profound," said the Rev. Marilyn Pagán-Banks, president of IIRON, which also worked on the release of the report. "People of color in Chicago, whose majority equity holdings remain in real estate, have been particularly affected by the crisis.” 

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Thu May 9, 2013

Tenants Accuse Residential Community Company Of 'Unfair Rent Increases', Abusive Practices (VIDEO)

Residents of the nation’s largest corporate owner of manufactured home communities, Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS), say the company is engaging in abusive practices and general disinvestment in its properties.

Wednesday, a group of more than 20 residents from across the country gathered outside ELS’ annual shareholder meeting in Chicago and demanded to be heard by the company’s founder and chairman, Sam Zell.

While a few demonstrators attended the meeting, several protesters rallied outside and urged Zell and other ELS executives to stop “unfair rent increases” that push residents, most of them retirees on fixed incomes, out of their homes and into poverty.

The demonstration was part of an ongoing battle between ELS and residents who want better living and renting conditions.

“My lot rent is more than half of my Social Security,” said Carla Burr, a 59 year-old resident of an ELS property in Chantilly, Virginia.

Burr pays a monthly lot fee of $945 and makes an annual income of $42,000. But, when she turns 65 she stands to lose an employer disability payment that will cut her income almost in half.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay in my house,” she said, noting her lot fee has increased $30 to $40 every year since she moved in, in 2006. “(ELS’) main goal is to win money for their investors at any cost, and they don’t care who they hurt.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Mon Apr 29, 2013

Uptown Residents Rally Against Proposed School Closures, Gentrification (VIDEO)

Quanzina Haynes plans to pull her children from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district if the Chicago Board of Education votes in favor of closing their school, Graeme Stewart Elementary.

“The closure for me would really mean a hardship for my family, because I feel I have no choice but to enroll my kids in a Catholic school,” said Haynes, 33, a single mother of two sons, ages eight and 10.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Fri Apr 26, 2013

A Look At How Charters May Fare If CPS School Actions Are Approved

The Chicago Public Schools’ plan to shakeup and shut down a record-breaking number of neighborhood schools in June will likely lead to further charter school expansion in the city, education policy experts and activists predict.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
Thu Apr 25, 2013

Supportive Housing For Veterans Coming To Chicago's Englewood Neighborhood (VIDEO)

By the end of June 2014, more than two acres of vacant land in Chicago’s South Side Englewood neighborhood will be transformed into an affordable housing development with services for veterans and their families.

Gov. Pat Quinn and Ald. JoAnn Thompson (16th) announced the new housing facility, called Hope Manor II, at a breaking ground ceremony today.

“As people of America, we have a profound debt of gratitude to the men and women who answer the call to duty and volunteer for our military, they are our heroes and always will be,” said Quinn.