Housing Activists Threaten Action at DNC


Affordable Housing Activists Say to Daley: No South Loop Housing, No Peace
at Convention

Chicago, Thursday, July 25 (Chris Geovanis) -- With chants that included
"Housing for the needy, not for the greedy!", about one hundred members
and supporters of the South Loop Campaign for Development Without
Displacement briefly occupied seventh floor City Hall elevators at 11:30
a.m. this morning, to demand a meeting with Mayor Daley. The group, which
is jointly sponsored by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless and the
Chicago Affordable Housing Coalition, is protesting Daley's unwillingness
to provide for mixed income/low- income housing in the South Loop. Calling
today's action part of a program to "elevate" the pressure on City Hall to
consider their proporals, organizers have vowed that their groups will
disrupt the Democratic Convention if Daley does not agree to discuss their

Daley lives in the South Loop, where property values have risen more than
150% in the last year alone. South Loop Campaign organizers insist they do
not oppose development, but they decry the displacement that real estate
speculation and profit-taking are creating in the community. The
demonstrators say redevelopment in the area is creating rapidly escalating
rents and housing -- including a rash of high-priced loft and condo
conversions -- that are beyond the means of long-term, low-income residents. 

The Campaign has met with city officials more than twenty times in the last
two years to discuss their concerns, but Daley has refused to announce any
concrete plans about how to develop the South Loop as a mixed-income
community. The South Loop Campaign has a number of specific goals,
including: the preservation, rehabilitation or replacement of 1,149 units of
planned and existing SRO units in the South Loop; the creation of 400 units
of affordable family housing in the area; the creation of an additional 200
units of affordable housing at Central Station (the group has currently won
a commitment for only half of these units); and allocation of $1.2 billion
in budgeted TIF funds for job training and placement of low- income and
homeless South Loop residents.

Unless negotiations open up soon, the groups are expected to make Daley's
"record of displacement in his own neighborhood known" at the Convention
this August. 

After occupying the seventh floor elevators for about ten minutes, the
demonstrators walked down to Daley's fifth floor offices to demand a
meeting. They left without an answer. 

Information in this media alert was drawn from press material provided by
the South Loop Campaign and eyewitness reports.


This news alert issued by CounterMedia, a coalition of political
organizations, media groups and individuals dedicated to providing
alternative coverage of the Democratic National Convention and community
struggle in Chicago.

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