Despite several studies that reveal low income housing high rises never made the cut, and that the city of Chicago has torn down many of these low income housing high rises all across the city, the 8th Ward alderman and the city are hell-bent on bringing the Montclare low income Section 8 housing project into the Pill Hill and Calumet Heights community, an affluent middle and upper middle class neighborhood. The studies found it was a plan that failed (low income high rises).
The alderman and city want to erect a low income high rise housing project consisting of 134 units, 7 Story, in the Pill Hill and Calumet Heights area, one of the most affluent black communities in the city of Chicago. It is believed by many that this is a continuing effort to run Blacks out of the city. Two city agencies – a commission and committee – approved the low income housing for the 8th Ward and are pushing to deliver the 7 story, low-income Trojan Horse to this middle and upper middle class black community which will be located at 9329 to 9429 S. Stony Island Ave. It’s not so much about the senior low income housing project, but they have the audacity to take away a much needed business real estate that could economically empower the community.
When I thought about this proposed housing project, I felt that the supporters of this plan are trying to squeeze a very unattractive square into a round peg off on the neighboring community, giving the impression that it is a gift to low income seniors in the community. But a Trojan Horse immediately came to mind. I did a web search to see did others see it that way, and they did.
There are many buildings being built in downtown Chicago. And surely, there are market rates and low income units that could be used in developments downtown as well. Many residents in the 8th Ward are wondering if this proposed building they want to bring to the South Side is an attempt to keep Chicago segregated. The market housing in the low-income units will displace people in the community as rents and taxes will go up. It’ll start with this one bad idea and will balloon out of control.
And because 8th Ward Alderman Michelle Harris lacks foresight, the community has to take the reins on this and try to keep the Montclare housing project out of the ward. The community will have to save themselves from this catastrophic idea that she would allow to take place.
Nearby beaches, highways, Indiana, and with the Obama Library coming, the South Side of Chicago has it going on. The Pill Hill community residents have built and beautified the Calumet Heights area, and now strangers want to capitalize on their hard work that was done over the past forty plus years and walk away with it. Shame on them, shame on the alderman for not having the insight to see what is taking place, and shame on residents who’ll sit idly back and let it happen.
By the way, usually on these types of projects “25-30” percent of the units go at the lower rates and the rest are market rates when developers take on projects such as this. The proposed low-income senior housing in the Pill Hill area would be just the opposite. It’s a fact that most of this type zoning is done in black communities and most of the time Blacks lose out because of it.
In areas comparable to the Pill Hill community in non-black areas that oppose rezoning, downzoning takes place instead of upzoning? The bottom line is, the new building will cause taxes to go up, rents to go up while really only accommodating a 134 unit building. These projects are normally used to strong-arm areas that reject unnecessary rezoning. Low income communities of color are aggressively targeted for purpose of gentrification. The only person that will profit from these catastrophic affects this will bring about is the developer and those that they have made deals with.
To be continued:
Zoning board meeting is May 9, at 10:00 am
City Council Chambers
City Hall, 2nd. Floor