Woodlawn: Findings + Recommendations

Key Findings

  1. High Vacancy
  2. At-Risk Renters
  3. At-Risk Homeowners
  4. Increasing Market Activity
  5. Inadequate Resources

Policy Recommendations

The following recommendations are designed to protect existing Woodlawn residents and prevent their displacement in the face of forthcoming community change:

To ensure adequate housing resources are available and accessible to current Woodlawn residents:

  • Fund a centralized Housing Resource Center in Woodlawn.
  • Establish a new 5-year $25 million Housing Fund to invest in the needs of current residents.
  • Conduct a Community Census to better understand the housing and other needs of current residents.

To bring vacant land back to productive use in Woodlawn in a way that benefits current residents:

  • Implement a collaborative community process to establish a vision for utilization of vacant land.
  • Repurpose the Woodlawn TIF, with priority uses to include investment in affordable housing and home repairs.

To protect long-time Woodlawn homeowners at risk of displacement:

  • Establish property tax relief for income-eligible residents who are longtime Woodlawn homeowners.
  • Provide property repairs assistance, and pro bono legal assistance and property tax assistance.
  • Collaborate with local community land trusts to permanently preserve Woodlawn’s affordable homeownership units.

To protect long-time Woodlawn renters at risk of displacement:

  • Collaborate with the Preservation Compact on a focused Woodlawn strategy to preserve rental units.
  • Ask the City of Chicago to monitor housing conversion activity and protect residents from displacement.