Metropolitan Mayors Caucus adopts Housing Action Agenda and Housing Endorsement Criteria - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Metropolitan Mayors Caucus adopts Housing Action Agenda and Housing Endorsement Criteria

Recognizing that Chicagoland's jobs-housing mismatch is a region-wide problem that must be dealt with collectively, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus has approved a strategy to help communities evaluate and influence development, and address a range of regional housing challenges.

Recognizing that Chicagoland's jobs-housing mismatch is a region-wide problem that must be dealt with collectively, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus has approved a strategy to help communities evaluate and influence development, and address a range of regional housing challenges.

Representing the more than 270 municipalities in the six-county region, the Caucus approved a Housing Action Agenda and its supporting Housing Endorsement Criteria. This is an historic step toward regional cooperation in increasing the full range of housing options near jobs and transit in metropolitan Chicago, and in tackling an issue often stalled due to stereotypes and other controversies.

"We are very pleased to have developed a Housing Action Agenda that we feel simultaneously addresses the priorities of both high job growth areas such as Palatine and the northwest suburbs, and reinvestment communities such as Riverdale," said Palatine Mayor Rita Mullins, co-chair of the Caucus' Housing Task Force.

Added the other co-chair, Riverdale Mayor Zenovia Evans, "Establishing the Criteria was our first major achievement illustrating housing as central to economic and community development efforts."

The Housing Action Agenda outlines how municipal leaders can encourage housing that meets regional demands while also forwarding a community's economic and community development objectives. This includes promoting the Housing Endorsement Criteria, providing incentives and rewards for "good planning," encouraging efforts to preserve and renovate the existing housing stock, leveraging private sector investments, improving the Housing Choice Voucher program, and exploring changes in the relationship between school funding and property taxes.  Recognizing the many stereotypes and concerns about what kind of housing is not desirable, mayors adopted the Housing Endorsement Criteria to help communities focus on the kind of housing that is valuable housing that is well managed and well designed, near jobs and public transit, and affordable to the local workforce.

On Wednesday, April 17, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) will host a roundtable titled "Expanding the Regional Housing Supply: Progress from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus." Moderated by Mark Angelini of the Shaw Company, the roundtable panel will include Mayors Evans and Mullins, as well as former Glenview Mayor Nancy Firfer, now with Chicago Metropolis 2020. Mayors Evans and Mullins will discuss details of the Housing Action Agenda, while Angelini and Firfer will offer their perspectives on the Agenda's historic value and the challenges ahead.

MPC, which serves as partner to the new Housing Task Force, worked closely with the mayors to finalize the Housing Action Agenda and the Housing Endorsement Criteria.

"The Chicago area is under-producing multi-family housing compared to other Midwestern regions. This is mostly due to the challenges faced by the many municipal leaders in our six-county region," said MPC Housing Director Robin Snyderman. "We're very inspired by the leadership, cooperation and vision demonstrated by the mayors' Housing Action Agenda. Without a state housing policy or other guidelines, these local leaders are taking it upon themselves to think about housing from both a local and a regional perspective."

"The passage of the Housing Endorsement Criteria is a victory for local governments and their residents by helping them take more control over the development process and the types of housing welcomed into communities," said David Bennett, executive director of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus.

Established by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in 1997 to address issues that affect the entire six-county metropolitan Chicago region, the Mayors Caucus is a partnership between the City of Chicago and nine suburban councils of government (COGs).  These nine COGs are the DuKane Valley Mayors and Administrators, the DuPage Mayors and Managers Conference, the Lake County Municipal League, the McHenry County Municipal Association, the Northwest Municipal Conference, the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, the Southwest Conference of Mayors, the West Central Municipal Conference and the Will County Governmental League.  The Caucus represents 272 municipalities and a population of more than 8 million.

Founded in 1934, MPC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group of business and civic leaders committed to serving the public interest through the promotion and implementation of sensible planning and development policies necessary for a world-class Chicago region.

For more information contact David Bennett (MMC) at 312.201.4505 or Robin Snyderman (MPC) at 312.822.6007.

Jessica Rocha, MPC communications intern, wrote this press release. 

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