Ahead of Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, several aldermen and housing advocates called for a hearing on an ordinance that would provide the council with greater oversight of the Chicago Housing Authority and expand access to affordable housing.
The call for Ald. Ray Suarez (31st), chair of the council's housing committee, to have a hearing on the "Keeping the Promise Ordinance" comes one day before the city's point-in-time count of homeless people in Chicago.
"Tomorrow, volunteers across the city will help count the homeless men, women, and children who are sleeping on the streets of Chicago right now," Ald. Joe Moreno (1st), lead sponsor of the Keeping the Promise ordinance, said in a statement. "But let's not just count them, let's house them. Helping these individuals, saving their lives, is within our power as a city, but we can't do it without getting the Chicago Housing Authority running in a better way. My colleagues and I are committed to that. We are demanding Ald. Suarez hold an immediate hearing on the Keeping the Promise ordinance to move this important legislation forward."
Housing advocates also want Mayor Rahm Emanuel to support a hearing on the Keeping the Promise ordinance, introduced by 13 aldermen in September. The measure was put forward after a fiscal review issued over the summer by the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability showed the housing authority has built up large cash reserves in recent years primarily by socking away millions in federal funds intended for housing vouchers.
According to the Chicago Housing Initiative, Moreno as well as Alds. Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Roberto Maldonado (26th), Ariel Reboyras (30th), Scott Waguespack (32nd) and Deb Mell (33rd) were scheduled to attend the press conference on the Keeping the Promise ordinance ahead of the city council meeting.