Originally posted March 3, 2016
We strongly oppose using public money to subsidize luxury housing — a move that would promote re-segregation of our city in a community that has over decades demonstrated that success lies in diversity.
We live in one of the most segregated cities in the country. At a time when over 20,000 CPS students are homeless and increasing numbers of Chicagoans are sleeping in the open; when tax dollars collected for our public schools, libraries, and parks are being diverted to private real estate development and selective enrollment charter schools; and when lack of accountability and transparency obscures millions of dollars sitting in TIF surplus accounts, we ask the committee members: In what way does the proposal by Montrose-Clarendon Partners LLC, which asks for almost $16 million in public subsidy, address these critical and chronic issues?
The project proposes using public funds to build luxury residences and a private park just steps from Uptown’s tent city and gateway public park. Despite the fact that increasing property taxes burden those who have already invested in our city, this proposal will force them to subsidize the acquisition of prized lakefront land for a private project that will commercialize and shadow our public lakefront. Tax increment financing will pay for demolition of a community heritage site, replacing a legacy of charity and important architecture with residences that are completely inaccessible to most who live and work in the vital and diverse Uptown community today.
Instead of providing the required 20% of affordable housing in this new development, the plan proposes less than 5% affordability with tax increment financing going towards the in-lieu-of fee.
We do not support the use of $15.88 million in TIF funds for the proposed development by Montrose-Clarendon Partners LLC. We call on the Committee on Finance and the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards to vote NO to this TIF request and planned development.