On the identical day the Obama Presidential Middle broke floor Tuesday, a gaggle of activists gathered close by to name for inexpensive housing protections for the South Shore neighborhood to maintain rising costs related to the event from driving residents out of the neighborhood.
“This specific improvement may have a ripple impact in Black communities,” mentioned Shannon Bennett, a pacesetter within the Obama Neighborhood Advantages Settlement Coalition.
A plan to guard house owners and renters in South Shore is almost full and cementing a time to satisfy with Mayor Lori Lightfoot to debate particulars is within the works, Bennett mentioned.
“That is the neighborhood that despatched [former President Barack Obama] to Springfield. That is the neighborhood that despatched him to the Senate. That is the neighborhood that despatched him to the White Home, and we needs to be the neighborhood that will get to remain and profit from the presidential heart,” mentioned South Shore resident Dixon Romeo.
About 30 supporters of the coalition gathered at sixtieth Avenue and Stony Island Avenue to carry a information convention Tuesday at midday.
An ordinance must be handed for South Shore that’s related, however extra expansive, than one which handed Metropolis Council final September cementing housing protections for the Woodlawn neighborhood, activists mentioned.
The Woodlawn Housing Preservation ordinance units apart $4.5 million for an array of inexpensive housing applications within the neighborhood surrounding the Obama Presidential Middle and establishes affordability necessities for 30% of latest housing items constructed on 52 vacant Woodlawn tons owned by the town.
Members of the coalition consider the presidential heart will convey with it funding and better dwelling costs and rents that longtime residents will be unable to afford.
Bennett pointed to the gentrification of the Lincoln Park neighborhood, which is now one of many metropolis’s wealthiest and whitest enclaves.
“We’re not going to let that occur in our communities,” he mentioned, noting that the group is leaning on Lightfoot, not Obama, for assistance on the problems.
“Can our former president affect it, after all he might. Are we in rooms that he’s in? I don’t assume anybody right here is. Our mayor needs to be accessible,” Bennett mentioned.
A spokesman for Lightfoot didn’t instantly return a request for remark.