In recent years, the 1st Ward has experienced tremendous residential growth. Growth is important in maintaining economic investment and neighborhood diversity that make our community a destination for residents and businesses alike.
There is a common misconception about the term affordable housing. Specifically “affordable” is a term used to define the area median income range. For example 100 % of area median income in the City of Chicago for one person is $52,800. Therefore it is critical to continue to expand affordable housing options for all residents in the city.
A staunch supporter of balanced community development, Alderman Moreno uses several tools to keep our neighborhoods affordable. These tools are essential in keeping long-time residents and working families in our community while attracting new residents. He works to promote several affordable housing options offered by the Chicago Department of Housing for both residents and developers.
- Chicago Partnership for Affordable Neighborhoods (CPAN)
The partnership works with private developers to create units for purchase by moderate income families in neighborhoods with escalating housing costs. Under the CPAN program, property developers set aside and sell below-market rate prices to qualified residents.
In order to participate, individuals and families must qualify by income ranges. For example a family of four could make no more than 100 percent of the area median income or 75,400. Participants must also complete financial education and homeownership classes to complete the application process.
- The Neighborhood Lending Program
The City of Chicago and Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS), provide first and second mortgage loans for the purchase and purchase/rehab of 1-4 units for homeowners who might otherwise not be able to purchase a home. Subsidy resources are also available to eligible households to complement mortgage loans. Clients receive one-on-one counseling and classroom instruction in budgeting, financial planning and credit repair.
A Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program offered through the City of Chicago entitles first-time home buyers to a federal income tax credit. A tax credit is a direct reduction of taxes due. Under the program, a home buyer would receive an MCC to reduce income taxes by an amount equal to 20% of the interest paid on a mortgage. The tax credit is available each year the home buyer continues to live in a home financed under this program.
- Community Land Trusts (CLTs)
CLTs are another tool afforded to developers in order to increase affordable housing options, commercial space, and expand parklands. CLT can be used to promote homeownership and historic preservation as well. The modern community land trust model was developed in the 1960s in order to hold land for the common good. Today, land trust works by a group, organization, or company purchasing a property in order to earmark the land to individuals through long-term land leases. Currently the City of Chicago is in the process of implementing a city-wide community land trust to create more affordable housing in our neighborhoods.