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Little Italy Residents Opposed To Public Housing Project In Their Backyard

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1350 West Taylor Street, Chicago
1350 West Taylor

When debating building affordable housing, developers either stick to the minimum requirements mandated by the Affordable Requirements Ordinance or pay into the city's Affordable Housing Fund to get out of building affordable rental units. It is rare to hear a developer say that a project will not get built without affordable units, but that is what is happening in Little Italy, according to DNAInfo Chicago.

Related Midwest Vice President Jacques Sandberg and the city are meeting resistance from Little Italy NIMBYs about CHA's plans to include public housing allotments in a planned mixed-use redevelopment at 1350 West Taylor. A new Chicago Public Library branch would serve as an anchor for a seven-story apartment building featuring a mix of market-rate, affordable and public housing. Sandberg and city officials told attendees at a community meeting that, while a new library would be a vital addition to the community, CHA lacks the funds to build a stand-alone library. Furthermore, this is part of Roosevelt Square, CHA's ongoing redevelopment of the former ALBA Homes site that promises a mix of commercial development and market-rate, affordable and CHA housing.

The library is being partially funded with tax increment financing. Adding a residential component to the development qualifies it for federal tax credits that would account for half of the project's cost. Residents asked if the land could be sold to private developers and were informed that the agreements between CHA and federal housing authorities would make any sale nearly impossible.