• Hundreds of protesters took to the 606 trail to raise awareness about rising rents and property taxes forcing families out of northwest side neighborhoods.
  • The Logan Square Neighborhood Association proposed two plans to keep long-term residents in their homes.
  • A Logan Square Alderman proposed a new 100 percent affordable housing building along Milwaukee Avenue.
606 trail groundbreaking / Flickr user Steven Vance

606 trail groundbreaking / Flickr user Steven Vance

Last weekend, the 606 trail was buzzing with more than speedy bikers. The trail that opened nearly a year ago was filled with marchers protesting the gentrification of the elevated trail’s surrounding neighborhoods, like Logan Square and Humboldt Park.

The protest was sponsored by the Logan Square Neighborhood Association and had hundreds to gather against the rapidly rising prices of homes, rentals and property taxes in the neighborhood, pushing out families that have lived there for generations.

Juliet de Jesus Alejandre, an organizer for the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, told the Chicago Tribune that what the neighborhood needs is policies, ordinances and laws geared specifically to protect long-time residents.

The association has two specific ideas to help keep the community accessible for mid to low-income residents: a tax rebate program and a pilot district where demolition fees would be heightened and dependent on the type of residence.

The rebate program would be based on income rather than home value. The program would benefit apartment buildings, specifically if they are owner-occupied or offer affordable rents to tenants so landlords can continue to do so.

The other idea from the association would be based on creating a specific district where demolition fees would be dependent on the number of units being demolished in a building, ranging in price from $10,000 to $25,000. Currently, demolition permits are $500.

Fees collected from demolitions would go back to the community to spend on affordable housing, grants to repair buildings, and rental subsidies.

Logan Square alderman announces affordable housing project

Alderman Proco Joe Moreno announced a proposed transit-oriented development that would house 88 units along Milwaukee Avenue near the Congress Theater. The building would be developed using funds from the Chicago Housing Authority funds and TIF dollars.

The development was announced as LGBTQ-friendly and to feature 100 percent affordable housing units. Named the John Pennycuff Memorial Apartments at Castillo Plaza, the building was announced to the public May 19. An open house at Congress Pizzeria will take place on Saturday, May 21.

Email Kimberly Manning

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