Affordable Housing Programs

Building a Family Friendly 47th Ward

As many neighborhoods experienced rapid gentrification throughout the City of Chicago, Gene worked to create a balance between longtime senior residents and the new young families of the 47th Ward. He successfully down zoned residential streets along with sections of principal arterial roads to maintain the single family homes in the ward. As many young families moved into the 47th Ward and property values increased, Gene became committed to providing affordable housing options to residents.

Finding Solutions for Affordable Housing

Gene made affordable housing a top priority to keep many long time residents in the ward. Gene supported the Silent Cooperative Apartment development, an assisted living facility for seniors with disabilities. In cooperation with the City, he worked to rehabilitate the Chicago Housing Authority affordable senior buildings in the 47th Ward.

In addition to the Community Partnership for Affordable Neighborhoods (C-PAN) program to provide more affordable condominium units to families, Gene developed the Northcenter Senior Campus (NSC) providing over 500 rental and condominium units for residents over 55. Recently, in its category, the NSC received the AARP and the National Homebuilder Association’s Livable Community Awards for best development.

Gene funded the $80 million dollar NSC project, which consists of two rental buildings and one condominium building, by working with private and public contributors. He successfully negotiated with Advocate Health Care to donate 5 acres of land. Along with this $20 million donation, he used $450,000 of community impact fees, $2 million from tax increment financing (TIF), and $1 million in developer contributions to fund two parks and landscaping. In addition, he arranged to have the City of Chicago Department on Aging establish a senior satellite office to provide seniors with programs, services and activities. The development has become a model for how an affordable senior housing campus can include the many services and amenities for seniors who need to move out of their homes for financial, health and mobility issues, but want to keep their independence and live in the same neighborhood.

Leading the City’s Fight for Property Tax Relief

Gene led the drive in City Council to call on the Illinois General Assembly to extend the 7% cap on property taxes, which was signed by Governor Quinn in August 2010. Without this cap, there would have been no property tax relief and many residents would have been forced to move out of the 47th Ward.

Gene strongly believes that it is the responsibility as legislators to keep seniors and families in their homes. In addition to his fight to keep the 7% cap, he continues to urge his colleagues in Springfield to find a long-term solution to property tax reform. To help residents with their property taxes, each year Gene held town hall meetings on property tax reform and assisted hundreds of homeowners in appealing their property tax assessments.
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