The Obama Presidential Center is coming, but not without controversy. Now, Chicago is considering a measure to promote neighborhood growth and preserve affordable housing near the proposed $500 million site amid gentrification concerns from residents.
Under the proposed ordinance, the city would use about $4.5 million to help lower-income residents in the Woodlawn area make home improvements, help some buy homes and support others in buying and repairing vacant buildings, according to the Chicago Tribune.
It would also require developers to incorporate a certain number of affordable units if they want to build a residential complex on vacant land owned by the city.
Unveiled Monday, the measure can be amended based on feedback, Chicago Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara told the Tribune.
The Obama Center is expected to attract thousands of visitors, along with new businesses and development. Critics say it will also lead to rising home prices and rents.
A group called the Obama Community Benefits Agreement Coalition is advocating for an ordinance that would require new housing developments to dedicate 30 percent of their units to low-income renters. It also wants the city to establish a rental assistance fund, which isn’t included in the proposed ordinance.