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Think outside the box on affordable housing, Mayor-elect Lightfoot

May 24, 2019

More affordable housing in higher-income North Side neighborhoods is nice. But real change will come from a new approach that builds up neighborhoods where low-income people already live.

A chorus of voices is calling for the incoming mayoral administration to invest in more affordable housing. Those voices include well-meaning people, committed to “inclusion and equity,” who argue that low-income people would benefit from “moving to opportunity” in new, high-end developments in the densely populated, amenity-rich North Side

But should a poor person be forced to move to Lincoln Park or Lakeview to find a good apartment, an excellent school, a job, or a grocery store with fresh food?

The answer should be, and can be, no. The focus on getting more affordable housing in rich neighborhoods shouldn’t overshadow the need to improve communities where low-income people already live — and where they might want to stay.

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Photo from article Ji Suk Yi/ Sun-Times