Can we have investment and still preserve neighborhood affordability? - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Can we have investment and still preserve neighborhood affordability?

As new investment comes to East Garfield Park, community leaders are proactively planning to make sure development benefits current residents and minimizes forced displacement.

New investment is shaping communities throughout Chicago. Social, cultural and economic transformations are leading to new attention and development in many city neighborhoods. East Garfield Park is one of these communities.

After decades of structural disinvestment, East Garfield Park has started to see a rise in new housing development, increased private investment, and new, wealthier residents moving in. Unfortunately, as we have seen across Chicago, new investment and new amenities often don’t benefit everyone the same. Neighborhoods can quickly go from disinvested to overpriced. And in these cases, long-time residents, often Black or Latinx, who are on limited or fixed incomes are then hurt when housing costs rise faster than the money they make. Unfortunately as a result, displacement happens – of renters, homeowners, business and community institutions alike.

Preserving Affordability Together Pilot

This summer, MPC partnered with the Institute of Housing Studies at DePaul University to get ahead of these negative impacts by developing and launching a new community process. We are partnering with local community groups, like Garfield Park Community Council, to pilot this program in East Garfield Park. Together, we are convening a community-driven process to make sure that current residents benefit from new investment in the neighborhood.

Ultimately, our goal is to co-create an affordability plan driven by community members to guide future action in ensuring new development benefits all, especially long-time community members. We are doing this by partnering with neighborhood residents, by using data to inform priorities, and by bringing diverse groups together under a common vision. We are preserving affordability together.

Want to get involved?

We have hosted two community meetings so far and convened a working group in between to begin drafting components of a community action plan. To provide feedback on the draft components, please take this survey.

As a part of this process, we are also working with community leaders to establish a new community coalition. To join or learn more about this coalition as it forms, please email Manager Juan Sebastian Arias.

Need more context? Want to catch up?

We hosted our second community meeting on Tuesday October 8th at Deborah’s Place in East Garfield Park. Resources from this meeting include:

  • PowerPoint slides
  • Infographic “Cheat Sheet” on housing conditions and displacement pressures in East Garfield Park
  • Summary blog with an overview and highlights of the meeting (to be posted soon)

We hosted our first community meeting on Tuesday July 23rd at 345 Gallery in East Garfield Park. Resources from this meeting include:

Stay tuned here for updates and materials from this community-driven process. Please reach out to Manager Juan Sebastian Arias at if interested in joining the effort.


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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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