(English) Statement on 88-unit Affordable Building Proposed For Logan Square

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Somos/We are Logan Square was heartened to see the announcement yesterday of a 100% affordable 88-unit building planned for the 1st Ward.
We have been consistent and strong advocates of dense, affordable working class housing located near transit sites, and are glad to see it becoming a reality.
Unfortunately, this type of development is the exception rather than the rule in Ald. Moreno’s 1st Ward. He was complicit in the closing of 800 units of public housing at Lathrop Homes, refusing to until recently to defend them. Most recently, he is a supporter of AirBnB, a roomshare service that is well known to damage affordable housing. Finally, he has approved a luxury development boom, leading to the construction of over 600 units where rents for studios-3 bedrooms run from $1500-3,900/month.
That’s a problem because overwhelming evidence shows that not only do luxury developments fail to reduce market rents (1,2,3), but they in fact drive them up, leading to mass evictions & displacement. (4,5,6,7)
The much-hyped 10% supposedly ‘affordable’ units are intended for families making $46,000/year, when 50,000 families in our area make $50,000/year or less, and 18,000 of those make $25,000/year or less. They are too few, and too expensive, to address the displacement caused by 90% luxury buildings.
While we would like to show our full support at this meeting, not as many of us will be able to attend as we would like. The community was given only 2 days notice about it, and we’ve had a major demonstration against luxury development planned that day for several weeks.
Again, we fully support this development. but must continue to protest Moreno’s housing policies that destroy our community.
1. http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-luxury-rental-projects-add-to-rent-squeeze-1432114203

2. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/storyline/wp/2014/08/19/why-its-so-hard-to-find-a-cheap-apartment-in-washington-d-c/

3. "While the increased development of luxury units may have a marginal negative effect on high-end rents, this activity may actually draw capital away from the more affordable sector leading to disinvestment and shrinkage of that supply..." https://www.scribd.com/doc/284775500/Loss-of-Low-Cost-Rentals-Atlanta-by-Dan-Immergluck-Oct-2015 

4. file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/Reef_Health-Impacts_ExecSummary_EN_final.pdf

5. "With the arrival of residents willing and able to pay a lot more for rent, landlords saw huge incentives in evicting existing tenants as a way to vacate previously occupied units, and bring in higher income residents. Between 1998 and 2002, the number of “no fault” evictions tripled in Oakland at the same time that rents increased 100 percent.(3)" Pg. 22, http://cjjc.org/images/development-without-displacement.pdf

6. "The two ends of the market are in-fact segmented from each other, but they compete for land and capital and so the proliferation of the luxury market may, in fact, result in less on the more affordable end.Meanwhile, those with modest incomes may be faced with higher rents in the lower-cost segment of the rental market" https://www.scribd.com/doc/284775500/Loss-of-Low-Cost-Rentals-Atlanta-by-Dan-Immergluck-Oct-2015

7. “It feeds the frenzy because when you have new high rise luxury development, it makes real estate in the surrounding areas more attractive, and will increase land values and attract more development,”  http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/06/the-big-money-behind-tall-buildings/395690/