Mayor Daley supports employer-assisted housing in Chicago - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Mayor Daley supports employer-assisted housing in Chicago

February event catalyzes further business leadership.

On Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005 , Chicago Mayor Richard M . Daley hosted a breakfast for over 120 business leaders at The Chicago Club to spotlight employer-assisted housing (EAH). Launched by MPC initially to promote housing affordability in expensive job markets, this initiative has also proven to be an effective strategy for promoting reinvestment -- especially in support of the new mixed-income communities developed as part of the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation . Mayor Daley expressed his appreciation to the business community for making Chicago a leader in bringing private sector support to revitalizing public housing, especially the institutions already committed to implementing EAH for their employees and in support of the Plan for Transformation .

In addition to Mayor Daley, the panel included the City's Housing Commissioner Jack Markowski as well as CHA CEO Terry Peterson. The program was moderated by David Baker, MPC Board Member and vice president of external affairs for the Illinois Institute for Technology. Baker described the program he launched in support of Park Boulevard (the redeveloped Stateway Gardens ) in coordination with the Illinois College of Optometry and De La Salle. Over 100 employees attended the program launch last fall, over 50 are benefiting from homeownership counseling through the program, and 16 have already made initial deposits on their new homes.

After introducing a video on EAH produced by the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing , MPC President MarySue Barrett outlined the benefits of employer-assisted housing as an outsourced, easy-to-administer employee benefit that helps retain valuable employees by investing in their ability to live near work. MPC’s role matches interested employers with housing counseling agencies that will administer the program, as well as work with the employees to repair their credit, find mortgage lenders, and possible identify homes to purchase. These agencies are nonprofit institutions that specialize in housing counseling.

Below are the counselors MPC is partnering with in the city of Chicago to carry out EAH programs:

  • Genesis Housing Development Corporation
  • Housing Choice Partners
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago
  • Rogers Park Community Development Corporation
  • Spanish Coalition for Housing

MPC is also working with LEED Council to help tailor a special consortium for small businesses.

With the new mixed-income sites providing affordable homes, employer-assisted housing is a win-win solution, for employers and employees, as well as for communities. In addition to the various city products available to participating employees, companies can receive state tax credits for supporting income-eligible employees, and can leverage state matching funds for the employees .

MPC’s latest CHA Progress Report reveals how civic engagement and partnerships are crucial to the success of Plan for Transformation. EAH encourages investment from moderate-income and market-rate households in redeveloping communities through employer participation.

Crain’s Chicago Business article “Employer-assisted Housing Gains Ground in Chicago” on January 7 highlighted the event by providing the background of EAH program in the suburbs four years ago and mentioned the participating employers. Special recognitions were also given to local employees who have signed up since September 1 to support the Plan for Transformation .

An Employer-Assisted American Dream”, an article in World Business Chicago on February 17 on the Mayor’s breakfast, praised EAH as “reducing commuting, resulting in a happier, more productive workforce”. IIT and De La Salle Institute’s EAH programs were featured as programs supporting Park Boulevard, a mixed-income community in the former Stateway Gardens site. The article also recognized new financial institutions signing up for EAH in the city. Robin Snyderman, the Housing Director of the Metropolitan Planning Council, wrote “Housing Help Works” in Crain’s Chicago Business, reinstating the importance of providing homes near work and the significance of the supports from the mayor and governor in encouraging employer-assisted housing program.

 

For more information about EAH in Chicago, please contact Lillie Sellers at (312) 863-6005 or LSellers@metroplanning.org. 

For information about EAH beyond the city of Chicago, please contact Samantha DeKoven, MPC housing associate, at 312-863-6021 or sdekoven@metroplanning.org.

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