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The City of Chicago, like many other major cities, has recently taken steps to increase much needed affordable housing, and adopted an Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO). Established in 2003 and expanded in 2007, the ARO applies to new or rehabilitated housing developments with 10 or more units that involve a zoning increase or downtown Planned Development designation, City-owned land, or City financial assistance (ARO Proposed Enhancement, 12/2014).


What is less clear though, is how this ordinance is supporting neighborhoods with intense pressure of (re)development and consequent displacement to balance and stabilize their populations. The challenge has become to find ways to effectively advocate for more inclusionary and equitable new development where a planning process can respond both to community and businesses interests.


How might we establish a platform for community stakeholders to collaborate on planning new and equitable housing developments?

Our case study is an 8-acre mixed use development proposal site in Pilsen, at the intersection of 18th and Sangamon-Peoria Street. The site occupies almost two entire blocks of vacant land, surrounded by residential and commercial uses, and currently down-zoned to industrial use pending review and approval for >500 unit ParkWorks Planned Development proposal created by property owner Property Markets Group Inc. PMG has balked at meeting a 21% affordable housing unit benchmark required for new development in Pilsen, offering to instead provide affordable housing off-site on nearby streets.


In collaboration with members of the community, and spearheaded by the social justice organization Pilsen Alliance, this team is supporting the development of policy recommendations and collaborative actions to explore how affordable housing and new market-rate development in the neighborhood can be met simultaneously.

Spring 2018


W. David Work

Moises "Moy" Moreno

Greg Morse

Brian Haynes

Jennifer Mok

Aimee Dewante

Byron Sigcho Lopez

Samantha Yang

William Vickery

Randy Colon

Emma Jasinski

Tyler Taylor

Vanessa Martinez

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