Today, the city of Chicago demolished its “200th dangerous building” since July 12, according
to the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The mayor stated in a press release
that demolitions are “preventing criminal activity in our
Is this true? “We’ve been knocking down houses
since the 1930’s and it’s not clear if this has a significant effect on
crime rates,” says Bradford Hunt, a sociology professor at Roosevelt
University who studies Chicago housing issues.
Also in question: How does the city determine what properties see the wrecking ball?
The Chicago City Council will hold hearings on what are rumored to be
80 to 120 neighborhood school closings, according to Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th),
head of the council's education committee.
Thomas, who as education
chairperson must convene such a panel, has previously been silent on a
resolution signed by 32 aldermen calling for a school closing hearing. She told
Progress Illinois that she would “absolutely” hold such a hearing.
Affordable-housing advocates are calling on local and state
governments in the country’s 25 largest urban areas to address the rapid
rate at which housing and transportation costs have risen over the past
According to the findings of the new report, “Losing Ground”, the
combined cost of housing and transportation within those metro areas
increased by 44 percent between 2000 and 2010, while household incomes
rose 25 percent during that same period.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a plan yesterday for which the
city will spend $2.5 million a year to help its homeless residents.
AFSCME Council 31 public employees union is upset about the plan because the strategy
will outsource the city’s overnight homeless transport service.
plan aside, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless says that Emanuel
has at least taken steps toward identifying the scope of the homelessness problem in the city.
Foreclosure filings increased by exactly one percent in the city of
Chicago between the first six months of 2011 and first half of 2012,
according to data
compiled by the Woodstock Institute. But the jump in foreclosures was
more dramatic in a handful of struggling, mostly black neighborhoods on
the South Side.
Filings in West Pullman were up 58.7 percent from
155 to 246 in the first half of this year compared to 2011. The number
of foreclosures jumped in Englewood 24.1 percent from 141 to 175 and
climbed in Calumet Heights 54 percent from 50 to 77.
A San Francisco-based firm spent the morning trying to sell the Chicago
City Council on the idea that they can use eminent domain to seize
properties in danger of falling into foreclosure. The firm argued that the use of eminent domain, which occurs when government acquires private property in the name of the greater good, could lead to the public benefit of fewer foreclosures. Representatives from Mortgage Resolution Partners LLC had the ear of Ald. Ed Burke (14th), chairman of the City Council Finance Committee, and the backing of Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), head of the Housing and Real Estate Committee.
But the effort was perhaps futile as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel indicated at a press conference today that he opposes the plan.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Emanuel said that he did not think eminent domain was the “right instrument” to combat foreclosures.