Today’s Headlines for Wednesday, November 8

  • OEMC ‘Taking Over’ $30M Surveillance Camera Contract With Motorola (Sun-Times)
  • Police Searching for Driver Who Fatally Struck Tracy Hoyt, 35, in Bolingbrook (ABC)
  • Kelly Harris, 54, Who Was Blind, Fatally Struck by Metra Train in Midlothian (ABC)
  • 6 Injured in Head-on Hit-and-Run Crash in Hermosa (CBS)
  • Report of Person With a Gun Delays CTA Trains at Fullerton Stop (Sun-Times)
  • Local Activists Are Pushing to Lift Illinois’ Ban on Rent Control (Pacific Standard)
  • Former Meatpacking Building Near Morgan Stop Will Become Offices, Retail (Curbed)
  • What Are Chicago’s Most Bike-Friendly Neighborhoods? (The Chainlink)
  • Meeting on TOD Ideas for Lawrence-to-Bryn Mawr Stretch of RPM Tonight, 6-8 PM at Edge Theater

Get national headlines at Streetsblog USA

wide banner copy

  • planetshwoop

    Affordable housing is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. Without affordable places to live, cities will either lose population if people move to areas where they can afford to live (e.g. suburbs ill-prepared to handle it, other states) or simply atrophy, which is also bad. More supply should be the answer, and this can be done by allowing houses to “grow” into multi-unit more effectively, or by simply stimulating the construction of more buildings — expanding TOD, grants, etc.

    Rent control is a terrible idea. The implementation details matter, but it typically encourages buildings to become run-down, or a sort of “inheritance” where a nice rent-controlled apartment is passed down like an asset.

    There are so many barriers towards building apartment buildings. It would be nice if the ATU worked towards increasing supply rather than the knee-jerk rent control idea. But I want to recognize it is an issue that demands attention.

  • Jeremy

    The proposed law is looking to remove the ban on rent control, not implement rent control.

    If I were to guess, I would say proponents of rent control would want designated areas where rent increases could be moderated. Those areas would probably not include the stretch of land from Lincoln Park through the South Loop.

  • rohmen

    Agree that increasing supply is one of the best ways to minimize the impact of this, but even with the TOD increases, we are consistently seeing any privately-driven new construction fall within the luxury spectrum. I haven’t seen a great breakdown of the economics of it all, but it seems crystal clear that a market distortion exists (I’ve heard developers say it is at the lending end) where developers feel locked into only building on the luxury end rather than aim at mid-tier of affordable housing. I assume it’s all ROI related, but I’d love to see how big of a ROI difference exists between luxury construction and buildings with mid-tier amenities and finishes. There is definitely a market demand out there for nonluxury apartments, but no one is building to capture it.

    While adding luxury supply to LS still likely helps to a degree, it also obviously fuels gentrification by radically changing the economic makeup of the neighborhood.

    Grants to build actual affordable housing (it could even be market rate, just not “luxury” market rate) definitely seem necessary, but there seems to be little to no actual drive (outside of the recent LGBT-oriented building) towards that goal in rapidly gentrifying areas.

  • planetshwoop

    That is a distinction without a difference. I don’t think their goal is deregulation. It’s to implement rent control… Eliminating the law is a first step.