Mayor Lightfoot and Department of Housing Introduces Anti-Deconversion Ordinances for Pilsen and Areas Surrounding the 606

December 16, 2020

New zoning ordinances will reduce displacement of low- to moderate-income residents and maintain the existing character and housing stock

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Housing (DOH) today introduced two anti-deconversion ordinances, one for Pilsen and one for the immediate areas surrounding the Bloomingdale Trail (The 606), designed to reduce displacement of low- to moderate-income residents and maintain the existing character and housing stock. This ordinance is geared toward preserving two-to eight-unit buildings, that often provide naturally occurring affordable housing units.

"While major cities across our country are experiencing a sharp increase in the number of new developments, whether they be housing or otherwise, it remains imperative that these projects are not accompanied with the displacement of longterm residents," said Mayor Lightfoot. "Here in Chicago, development does not mean displacement. That's why this ordinance is designed to preserve not only affordable housing in Pilsen and the 606, but also solidify our commitment to protecting the residents and their families who have called these neighborhoods home for decades."

Under current zoning regulations, new construction projects are not required to be of comparable density as the building(s) being replaced, which causes reductions of units and often, replacement housing that is substantially more expensive. Around The 606, two and three-flat buildings are being demolished or converted into singlefamily homes at significantly higher price points. In Pilsen, three to eight-unit buildings are also being replaced by buildings with fewer units. These antideconversion ordinances are specifically tailored with solutions that will help ensure the appropriate density in each neighborhood is maintained while helping to stem both the displacement of individuals and overall unit loss.

“The City of Chicago is committed to inclusive development that minimizes displacement of residents living in gentrifying areas,” said Marisa Novara, Department of Housing Commissioner. “These ordinances are a significant step toward ensuring that residents are able to remain in their communities and participate in the opportunities that stem from significant development.”

"Our families should be able to call their communities their homes regardless of how neighborhoods grow and change over the years," said Daniel La Spata, 1st Ward Alderman. "With the introduction of this ordinance, we will continue to work in partnership with administration and our community leaders to expand efforts that prevent the displacement of Chicagoans, especially our low- and moderate-income residents."

The Pilsen and The 606 anti-deconversion ordinances are part of Mayor Lightfoot’s commitment to equitable economic growth that ensures every resident is able to remain in their homes and share in transformative improvements occurring in their communities. With a similar goal, in September City Council approved the Woodlawn Housing Ordinance that protects residents from displacement and expands homeownership opportunities in the Woodlawn community, the future home of the Obama Presidential Center.


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