Or­di­nance aims to en­sure Wood­lawn af­ford­able af­ter con­struc­tion of Obama Cen­ter in Jack­son Pk.

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY SAM CHARLES, STAFF RE­PORTER scharles@sun­times.com | @samjcharle­s

Af­ter more than a year of ne­go­ti­a­tions, set­backs and com­pro­mises, a new or­di­nance will be in­tro­duced to Chicago’s City Council on Wed­nes­day that aims to pro­tect Wood­lawn res­i­dents from dis­place­ment with the im­pend­ing con­struc­tion of the Obama Pres­i­den­tial Cen­ter in Jack­son Park.

“There’s a unique his­tory and fu­ture in Wood­lawn,” Chicago De­part­ment of Hous­ing Com­mis­sioner Marisa No­vara said Tues­day. “We see the im­por­tance of this com­mu­nity in the fu­ture of Chicago and we want to make sure that we are be­ing a part­ner to this com­mu­nity in shap­ing what hap­pens here go­ing for­ward.”

The city cur­rently owns 208 vacant res­i­den­tial lots in Wood­lawn. The or­di­nance stip­u­lates that 30% of any fu­ture hous­ing de­vel­op­ments on 52 of those lots — 25% — must be af­ford­able to peo­ple who make 30% to 50% of the area’s me­dian in­come. No­vara said that, for a fam­ily of four, 30% of the area’s me­dian in­come is about $25,000.

The 30% bench­mark will not be in ef­fect af­ter 20 years, she added.

Alds. Jeanette Taylor (20th) and

Les­lie Hairston (5th), whose wards en­com­pass the neigh­bor­hood, could not be reached for com­ment Tues­day, but the Daily Line re­ported that both sup­port the mea­sure and will co-spon­sor the or­di­nance.

Main­tain­ing af­ford­able hous­ing and en­sur­ing res­i­dents won’t be forced out of the neigh­bor­hood have been stick­ing points since the cen­ter’s site was cho­sen.

No­vara said there will be meet­ings be­tween the city, al­der­manic of­fices and de­vel­op­ers to en­sure that lo­cals get a bite at the ap­ple when it comes time for con­struc­tion.

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