Keeping the 26th Ward Affordable for Our Neighbors, Next Generation

Can you guess how many Chicago households can buy a million dollar home? If you guessed less than 5%--you're right!

But the 26th Ward's history is all about the 95%. And I want to keep it this way--for our current neighbors and the next generation of families to come. This City Lots for City Living Program will keep Humboldt Park in its historical place, serving the 95%."

 Did you know that in many instances, a million dollar home is only available to households with incomes around $300,000 gross? With a down payment of $200,000, their monthly mortgage and taxes are just under $5,400. This is just under 30% of their $18,000 monthly net income. If they have a car note, any credit card debt or a student loan, their gross incomes must be over $350,000.

According to Statistical Atlas, these households make up less than 5% of our Chicago households. Some Chicagoans believe that the City should sell these empty lots in the 26th Ward at market rates. If this was done on Erie Street, it is estimated that each empty lot would cost around $500,000. With this cost, a developer would be forced to build a million dollar--or more--home.

But selling these city-owned empty lots at market rates will only create six housing opportunities for less than 5% of Chicagoans. Since these new property taxes are more than 2.5 times what their long-term neighbors on Erie Street are paying, building 6 of these million dollar homes would drive the neighbor's property taxes up until they were forced to move.      

Erie Street is mostly composed of middle-income households--not the 5%. The long-time residents on this block and others concerned about rapid, million dollar development agree with me that we should preserve the middle-class identity of this neighborhood. "For this reason, I re-started the City Lots for City Living so the lots could be sold for $1 when a developer promises to build a home that many Chicago households could afford," said Maldonado.

These 6 homes on Erie Street will be sold for $247,000 each because of the developer is building a home most of 26th residents could afford. The company's application was approved and it will purchase these city lots for $1. Theses 6 homes will be accessible to almost 20% of Chicago households--those making between $66,000 (for an individual) and $94,000 to $125,00 (for families of 4 to 8).

These are the kinds of programs that will keep Humboldt Park in its historical place, serving the 95%.


Artist rendering of developer's proposed affordable homes inserted into picture of Erie Street.
Million dollar homes on left; two-flat and frame houses on right.