MPC Rallies Experts to Strengthen Affordable Housing in Chicago Heights; Pushes for Restored HOPE VI Funding - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC Rallies Experts to Strengthen Affordable Housing in Chicago Heights; Pushes for Restored HOPE VI Funding

From MPC's March 2004 Media Tips

A proposal to redevelop 172 public housing units into 110 new homes for low-income residents, alongside 145 units for rent or sale at market rates, would seem to be just what a poverty-stricken Chicago Heights neighborhood needs. So the City applied for a federal HOPE VI grant to support the redevelopment last year, but was rejected. To strengthen its 2004 application, Chicago Heights asked for help.

Members of the MPC Housing Committee and Campaign for Sensible Growth Technical Advisors met in December 2003 and January 2004 to help Chicago Heights build a stronger mixed-income community by securing private sector investment and participation through initiatives like employer-assisted housing. They will find out in April if the project will get funding. “I think the chances are good,” said MPC South Suburban Coordinator Kristi DeLaurentiis. “It’s improved considerably.”

MPC wrote to congressional leaders on behalf of the HOPE VI program in 2003, when Pres. George W. Bush sought to eliminate the program, which provides funds for transforming distressed public housing developments into mixed-income communities. It has shrunk from $570 million in 2003 to $150 million this year, and Pres. Bush plans to zero out its 2005 budget. MPC will continue advocacy on behalf of HOPE VI as a tool to preserve the affordability of housing for the country's lowest income households.

Click here for the complete March 2004 Media Tips. 

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