SOLD OUT! Contract Buying Forum - Metropolitan Planning Council

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SOLD OUT! Contract Buying Forum

September 29, 2017, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

This is a past event

Metropolitan Planning Council
140 S. Dearborn St., Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60603

Hosted by: Metropolitan Planning Council, Woods Fund Chicago and Polk Bros. Foundation

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Chicago residents protest discriminatory housing at a demonstration organized by the Contract Buyers League

Please note this event is SOLD OUT!

Due to the increased demand for this event, we will livestream the entire program.

Click here to download the forum's full agenda.

Register today

Contract buying gained prominence on Chicago’s west and south sides in the 1950s during a time when black communities were systematically denied financial resources to purchase homes by the banking and insurance industry, and when local and federal policy conspired to build separate and unequal neighborhoods. Predatory lenders stepped in to fill this void, selling homes to black families on contract—characterized by exploitative terms like high-interest rates, inflated sales prices and a lack of traditional homebuyer protections.

This practice continues in 2017.

Together with the Woods Fund Chicago and Polk Bros. Foundation, MPC will host a half-day forum that will bring together a set of civic, government and community leaders in a series of conversations to discuss contract buying as it exists today. We invite you to join us for this discussion on Friday, September 29 where we will explore the history of contract buying (also known as contracts for deed, or rent-to-own contracts) and its relationship to segregation in Chicago, how it continues to damage present-day communities of color, and solutions to address this resurging housing practice.

Forum Agenda:

  1. The History of Contract Buying
    • Alden Loury, Director of Research and Evaluation, Metropolitan Planning Council
    • Beryl Satter, author of Family Properties: How the Struggle Over Race and Real Estate Transformed Chicago and Urban America

  2. Present-Day Issues 
    • Caronina Grimble, Program Officer, Woods Fund Chicago

    • Jack MacNamara, Lead Organizer, Contract Buyers League

    • Lechla Conrad, Current Homeowners
    • Karen Edwards, Current Homeowner
  3. Solutions—A Call to Action  
    • Deborah Bennett, Senior Program Officer, Polk Bros. Foundation

    • Matt Cole, Program and Grant Administrator, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago
    • Je Yon Jung, Senior Fair Lending Counsel, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    • Sharon Legenza, Executive Director, Housing Action Illinois

    • Karen A. Yarbrough, Cook County Recorder of Deeds

Click here to download the forum's full agenda.

Due to the increased demand for this event, we've added a live webcast! Viewers can access the livestream for the entire duration of the program (8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.), so please share it with your entire network. Here’s the direct link:

The forum is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. A light breakfast will be served; please indicate any dietary restrictions when you register.

Register today

MPC thanks Woods Fund Chicago and Polk Bros. Foundation for their generous support of this event.


This page can be found online at

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616

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For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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