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Around Rogers Park: The Real Deal Reports Big Rent Increases in Rogers Park

 

The headline is ominous – “A Vicious Cycle: Skyrocketing Rogers Park rents may rob neighborhoods of affordable housing.” Thus begins Alex Nitkin’s article in The Real Deal, an internet news service that reports on real estate in the nation’s largest cities, including Chicago.

 

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Around Rogers Park: Lifeline Theater Thanks RPBG for its Support

 

In a May 17th letter addressed to the Rogers Park Builders Group, Lifeline Theater Directors Allison Cain and Ilesa Duncan wrote to thank our organization, and Jay Johnson in particular, for our financial support of the theater’s accessibility programming.

 

 

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Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin: Just Housing Ordinance

 

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin (13thDistrict) joined the Tuesday, May 28 meeting via Skype from Springfield to discuss the recently passed Just Housing Ordinance (JHO) by the Cook County Commission on Human Rights. The new law prohibits property owners and managers, including owners of condos and cooperatives, from asking about an applicant’s criminal background until after the housing provider makes a conditional approval of the applicant. Most members of the RPBG and Cook County’s property owner community feel that this new law will unduly complicate the screening process and cause property owners to be more defensive (out of concern for being sued).

 

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As I See It: Commissioners: Reconsider the Just Housing Ordinance


 

My “Aha Moment” arrived when I read the title of the Sun Times editorial, dated April 28, criticizing the County Board’s passage of the Just Housing Ordinance.

“Don’t punish landlords to make more housing available for ex-offenders.”

 

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Rent Control Fails in Springfield


Wednesday, March 27th was a big day in Springfield for those of us who have been following the rent control saga over the past number of months. No fewer than three rent control bills were vying with each other for consideration by the commercial law subcommittee of the Judiciary – Civil committee in the Illinois General Assembly.

 

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Maria Hadden, Newly Elected Alderwoman of the 49th Ward


 

I had never met Maria Hadden before she graciously agreed to let me interview her for our Newsletter. I went to her office on Morse Avenue for a 4 o’clock appointment on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in mid-March. I figured I’d be lucky to get 45 minutes or an hour of her time. After all, she’s got a lot on her plate. Maria won the general election for 49th Ward Alderman on February 26 with over 63% of the popular vote. The unambiguous result allowed her to skip over the run-offs in April. But she is not resting on her laurels. She has a long to-do list as she prepares for her new role. I figured some strange guy from a property-owner organization would not rank very high on her priority list.

 

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Proposed Tax Relief for Affordable Rentals


There has been no lack of legislative initiatives in Springfield lately to preserve and expand the supply of affordable housing in Illinois. Unfortunately, several of these legislative initiatives focus on Rent Control as a cure-all to the region’s affordable housing woes. The Rogers Park Builders Group firmly opposes any effort to adopt rent control in the state. RPBG believes that, far from solving our affordable housing problems, rent control will only make them worse with considerable collateral damage to our livelihoods and the wider economies of the city, region and state.

 

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A BETTER SOLUTION THAN RENT CONTROL


 

As widely reported, the efforts in Springfield to lift the State ban on rent control were recently defeated. While it was determined that rent control is not a practical solution, the affordable housing problem nevertheless remains. So, rather than focusing on what doesn’t work, we must now ask ourselves if there are other solutions that can work to correct this problem. In fact, there is one very cost effective and readily available alternative that is gaining grass roots support and that affordable housing advocates, apartment building owners and city officials can all support.

 

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Onward, Rogers Park’s Newest Fine Dining Option


 

Rogers Park’s newest addition to the fine dining strip on the 6500 block of Sheridan Road truly is a fine dining experience. Not to be confused with Project Onward in Bridgeport (Google it, support it any way you can), our Onward is a pleasant addition to the Rogers Park dinner-scape. In several visits – once to the bar for appetizer’s and drinks and later again for dinners – we were well fed and well treated. In fact the ambiance and style of the place are worth describing even before getting to the food. For the first time in my years in our wonderfully proletarian neighborhood, I actually walked into a restaurant men’s room that had real cotton towels (not heated, unfortunately) instead of paper. I assume a similar perk for the ladies’ facilities. Even better, after each course, our waiter removed all of our used flatware and replaced it with clean utensils for the next course. On both of our visits to the dining room, service was unflaggingly friendly with both our waiter and the maître d’ attending to our table.

 

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Ups and Downs



It’s been a wild start to the year and much of the news, especially over the past month, has been all about politics. Now, I know I’m supposed to steer clear of politics, but I can’t help myself. Both the local and national media have been obsessed with all things political. And who can blame them? With the release of the Mueller report and a riveting local election, there has been little appetite to talk about anything else.

 

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Around Rogers Park: Political Tsunami Washes Over Chicago / Rogers Park

 

Chicago municipal elections are always a two-act affair. The general elections come first. This year, they were held on Tuesday, February 26th. Any candidate with more than 50% of the general vote is declared the victor; if there is no outright victor, then the top two candidates with less than 50% of the vote must face each other in a final vote in the runoffs. This year, the runoffs were held Tuesday, April 2nd.

 

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