Woodlawn: Findings + Recommendations
- High Vacancy
- At-Risk Renters
- At-Risk Homeowners
- Increasing Market Activity
- Inadequate Resources
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.