Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance

The Woodlawn Housing Preservation Ordinance from the Department of Housing and Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot has five main goals:

  • Help protect existing residents from displacement
  • Create new rental and for-sale housing opportunities that are affordable to households at a range of incomes
  • Ensure that existing housing stock offers good quality housing for residents
  • Promote housing options to support equitable and inclusive income diversity in Woodlawn
  • Support economic development opportunities

The ordinance mandates affordability requirements on all rental and for-sale housing developed on City-owned residential land. It also appropriates roughly $4.5 million — and leverages another $5 million in loan funds — to various programs that will assist with rehabilitation of existing affordable housing.

Finally, it creates a Right of First Refusal Pilot Program in the neighborhood that would require an owner of a building with 10 or more units to give tenants an exclusive opportunity to make an offer on the property prior to its sale. The ordinance gives tenants a 90-day window to buy the property once the landlord receives an offer from a third-party buyer.

At least 30 days prior to listing or otherwise offering the property for sale, the owner must provide written notice of intent to sell the property to the tenant association, or to each tenant, if no association exists and complete and post the Notice of Intent to Sell Property form at all public entrances to the property.

The ordinance was drafted in consultation with local aldermen and neighborhood organizations. The Chicago City Council adopted the ordinance in September 2020.

Questions and comments on the ordinance can be directed to WoodlawnHousing@cityofchicago.org.


Ordinance Overview

Key components of the ordinance include:

  • Affordability for Chicago’s lowest earners: On 25% of city-owned vacant land, 30% of units in each project must be affordable at 30-50% of Area Median Income
  • $1.5 million for the Preservation of Existing Affordable Rental (PEAR) - This apartment building refinance program would help existing owners refinance their property to keep tenants in place and rents affordable.
  • $1.175 million for Renew Woodlawn. $500,000 in city funding and pending grant request for an additional $675,000 from HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative. Renew Woodlawn is a rehab homeownership program tailored for low to moderate income households.
  • $1.52 million for the Woodlawn Loan Fund to supplement $5 million from banks and other lenders. This is a program to purchase and rehabilitate vacant units to create new affordable housing.
  • $1 million for the Woodlawn Long-term Homeowner Home Improvement Grant Program. The program will assist homeowners with 5 or more years of residency in their home with a
    grant of up to $20,000 for home repairs.
  • Enhanced local hiring requirements - Residential developments that receive City land for development of rental housing would be required to meet enhanced local hiring requirements.
  • Tenant Right of First Refusal pilot program for larger apartment buildings - Gives renters the right of first refusal if a landlord seeks to sell his/her building. Rather than tenants being automatically displaced from the sale of a building, tenants would have the right to form a tenant’s association and enter into an agreement with a not-for-profit affordable housing developer to purchase the building and maintain it as affordable. 


Request for Qualifications/Applications Archive

Community Engagement and Planning Sessions

The Department of Housing (DOH) hosted nine working group meetings providing an opportunity for residents to learn more about housing and planning efforts in the community. The meetings are available for replay below.

Community Open Houses

May 23, 2022

DOH and the Department of Planning and Development co-hosted a community open house on May 23, 2022 at Hyde Park Academy High School. The open house was an opportunity for residents to learn more about the proposed rental housing development plan, the homeownership development plan, offer feedback, and talk with their neighbors. For more information on the event download the document below.

Woodlawn Open House


Jan. 30, 2020

DOH and the Department of Planning and Development also co-hosted a community open house on Jan. 30, 2020 at Hyde Park Academy High School. The open house was an opportunity for residents to learn more about the proposed programs, offer feedback, and talk with their neighbors. More information on the event is available on the document below.

Woodlawn Open House Summary

Supporting Information Facts

Programs & Initiatives:

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