Aldermen, housing organizations and tenants gathered May 28 at City Hall for a press conference to promote an ordinance that aims to preserve Chicago’s single room occupancy hotels (SROs).
City and Chicago for All, a coalition headed by ONE Northside, says they will draft an ordinance that will be ready to pass this month.
The ordinance would require that SRO owners seeking to drastically rehab their building apply to Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development before doing so. In the proposed ordinance, SRO owners must agree to keep units as affordable housing, rebuild the affordable units in the same community or pay a fee to make up for the affordable housing loss.
Continuing SRO Loss
According to ONE Northside and data from the Cook County Assessor’s website, Chicago has lost 2285 SRO units to market rate development since 2011.
One of Logan Square’s SROs, the Milshire Hotel (2525 N. Milwaukee Ave.), is set to close soon. Milshire’s tenants and affordable housing advocates have been organizing and meeting.
After getting notices at the beginning of May that they had 30 days to vacate the building, tenants and affordable housing advocates began organizing to fight the evictions and provide resources for those needing to find alternative housing. The original notices were not legal, and on the 30th day after receiving the notices tenants were given new, legal 30-day notices.
A Facebook group named Creating Homelessness INChicago has been created as a way to organize and inform residents on the housing issue. Milshire residents tell their stories in videos on the page and urge others to get involved in the fight against mass evictions.