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NBOA and LREIC Panel Discussion of Migrant Influx to Chicago

The Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance (NBOA) and the Latino Real Estate Investors Council (LREIC), put together a fascinating and informative panel discussion via Zoom hosted by Rafael Leon, Executive Director of Chicago Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. (CMHDC), and including Alderman Andre Vazquez (40th Ward); Ami Novoryta, Chief Program Officer with Catholic Charities; Paul Roldan, President of Hispanic Housing Development Corp. (HHDC); and Kalman Resnick, Partner at Hughes Socol Piers, Resnick & Dym, Ltd.v

The discussion ranged from the latest updates and statistics on the migrant situation in Chicago to the legal challenges these migrants face, the massive asylum hearing backlog now clogging the courts, and how housing providers can provide housing and/or employment opportunities to these new arrivals.

Since the first bus-load of migrants showed up in Chicago in August of last year, about 12,000 more have now arrived. Venezuela seems to be the primary country of origin for many of these people, but other countries with challenging political and economic conditions, including Haiti, Cuba and El Salvador, are also seeing a significant exodus of people who then seek to enter the United States. As always, Rogers Park remains an important location for resettlement of these new arrivals in the city and across the Chicago region.

Migrants Sent On One-Way Flights From Texas
Sleeping At O’hare As City Scrambles To Find Them Shelter.

Catholic Charities reports that they have found housing for about 1,200 migrant households which can comprised of just one person or larger family units. Despite the huge legal, cultural and language problems these migrants face, they have adapted to their new city and are managing to find jobs, pay rent and begin new lives. Of course, most of this adaptation is in spite of, not because of, a legal system that seems designed to make their lives more difficult and keep them from integrating into the social and economic life of the country. But resourceful people find ways to survive and thrive. Like millions of immigrants before them, this most recent group is finding its way.

The Zoom meeting was recorded and is available on YouTube in its entirety at this link. For housing providers with available units or unfilled construction or maintenance positions, this is an excellent panel discussion with a lot of good information, advice and links to additional resources. Kudos to Michael Glasser, RPBG and NBOA President, for helping put it together.




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