Last night at the iconic Chicago Temple in the heart of the City's Loop, the Bring Chicago Home partnership held a community Town Hall meeting to accelerate efforts to accomplish housing solutions in the first 100 days of the Administration of Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot, who will take the oath of office as Chicago's 56th Mayor next week.
Six advocates from the CSH SpeakUp! Illinois program were at the Town Hall and Advocate Kanitha Taylor shared her story of conquering her homelessness through supportive housing.
According to recent reports, more than 80,000 Chicagoans are homeless each year. This includes those who live on the streets, in shelters, or “doubled-up” – staying with a friend of family member due to hardship, often in over-crowded, unreliable situations.
The lack of stable housing for many Chicagoans plays a major role in exacerbating systemic inequities that plague the city.
To help address this massive problem, the Bring Chicago Home coalition – over 80 organizations including CSH – aims to raise the local real estate transfer tax (RETT) by 1.2 percentage points on properties that sell for over $1 million. This would generate an estimated $150 million a year for supportive housing, a proven model that links housing with services to ensure long-term stability for people who have coped with homelessness and other traumas.
The RETT initiative to increase resources was a critical piece of Mayor-elect Lightfoot's platform.
To date, more than 30 aldermen in the new City Council, which will be sworn in next week too, have committed to support the Bring Chicago Home proposal to add a ballot question asking voters to raise the RETT.