Our neighborhood is one of the only affordable places to live on the north side of the city, but current patterns of development threaten this. Preserving low-income and affordable housing and increasing accessible housing will be vital to maintaining the character of our community and will be central to all decisions I make once elected. I'll work with existing community organizations, regional planning bodies, and residents to create a comprehensive development plan to meet the needs of current residents and prepare us for the future.
We need actionable progressive policies to ensure individuals have access to housing they can afford that will not be taken away. This includes measures such as lifting the ban on rent control to expand our toolbox to keep housing affordable and making sure landlords can only evict renters for just cause (preventing individuals from being evicted so that rent prices can be increased for the next occupant). Finally, it means supporting the Homes For All and Development For All ordinances which require a one-for-one replacements of standing public housing units, and includes revamping the Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) policy to ensure we have balanced and inclusive patterns of development that will lesson and even reverse the impact housing segregation and gentrification have had across our city.
Proactive Community planning
One of the biggest concerns individuals have voiced to me is the lack of a coherent plan for the development in the 49th Ward. Currently, development seems to be something that is just allowed to happen to us and community input, when allowed for, is often at the end of a decision-making process. Instead, we should be developing a plan for what we want to see happen in the ward for the next 5, 10, and 15 years. We should be the ones starting conversations with local builders and developers saying “this is what we want/need - how can we work together to achieve this?” Community driven zoning has worked in other wards and will work here as well.
Expanding Accessible Housing
In addition to making homes affordable, we need to make sure we’re planning and creating more accessible and integrated housing for people with disabilities and our elderly. Increasing the number of new and rehabbed units accessible for people with mobility and sensory disabilities needs to be a priority in the 49th Ward and across the city. By including a minimum of accessible units with every new development project, and increasing the number of city dollars allocated for home modification in existing housing units, we will make sure that people in our city are not forced to be segregated from the community because of their disability.