Can affordable housing near Obama Center become reality now? – WBBM

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Organizers fighting gentrification around the Obama Presidential Center are hopeful new leadership in Chicago’s mayor’s office and City Council will mean the affordable housing ordinance they’ve been working on for five years will be approved.

Dixon Romeo is happy to see Desmon Yancy elected as the new 5th ward alderman and Brandon Johnson as mayor.

The organizer with the CBA Coalition said both men pledged on the campaign trail to support the Community Benefits Agreement ordinance near the Obama Center.

“It looks like fingers crossed this time we will get some protections for South Shore residents and follow through on the protections wanted in the Woodlawn ordinance.”

It would require affordable housing be built on 52 city-owned lots including at least 3 out of 4 units at the property at 63rd and Blackstone near the center that’s under construction.

Romeo accuses the outgoing mayor and alderwoman of stripping some protections for residents of South Shore and Woodlawn were lost in earlier compromises.

He’s feeling upbeat about restoring them under the new leadership, but doesn’t have a specific timeline for the City Council to pass the ordinance.

“We’re gonna work with Mayor-elect Johnson and Aldermen-elect Yancy to get this passed as soon as possible,” Romeo said.

88 percent of voters in the fifth ward approved a non-binding referendum supporting the ordinance in February.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Scott Olsen/Getty Images

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