As a homeowner and landlord in the Albany Park community, the issue of stable and affordable housing is very important to me. When rental costs and property values increase, so do my property taxes. This puts me on a path to foreclosure as I cannot afford to pay for the increase on my fixed income. Over the last few years, a large number of two-four unit buildings in my community have been foreclosed on and purchased by developers who convert them into high-end rentals or single family homes. I have seen many long-time residents and working families evicted from these buildings. These are my neighbors and friends that have been displaced from the community, from their schools, churches, and places of employment.
"Through ROOTS we have been able to preserve 42 quality, affordable homes for families in our community, with more in the pipeline!"
As a leader with Communities United and the Renters Organizing Ourselves To Stay (ROOTS) initiative, I door knocked and spoke with renters in foreclosed buildings and organized them to take action. We engaged our elected officials around the importance of preserving both affordable housing and mixed-income communities.
Through ROOTS we have been able to preserve 42 quality, affordable homes for families in our community, with more in the pipeline! I will continue to fight for affordable housing in my community and work to expand this community-driven model across the city.