Housing Justice

Fighting for safe, affordable housing so our neighborhoods can thrive.

Reina Bch Rally

What We Believe

We believe that housing is a human right. We need to hold developers and our government accountable to building and funding affordable housing, as well as regulating the housing market to put people over profit. We believe that preserving, maintaining and increasing the amount of affordable housing is an investment in our communities that will allow working class people, seniors, people with disabilities, people of color, LGBTQ people, and people with limited access to resources to remain in their homes and communities.

What We Will Do.

We will protect renters by:

  • Organizing tenants to take action to preserve and improve their housing while educating our neighbors about their rights under the Residential Landlord and Tenant Ordinance
  • Making it easier to find affordable units through a centralized waitlist website via The Accountable Housing and Anti Discrimination Act
  • Protecting Single Room Occupancy Hotels by ensuring 3 North Side SROs apply to the SRO preservation loan program and advocating for increased funding for this program in the city budget

We will increase affordable housing by:

  • Mobilizing our base and tenant leaders to support proposed affordable developments or to push back against proposed luxury developments by working with North Side alderpeople and their community zoning processes

What We Have Done

Our work in housing justice organizing stretches back a decade (and beyond when including the legacy of our predecessor organizations LAC and ONE!) so here are just a few recent victories:

  • Won additional housing and relocation benefits for residents of Wilson Men’s Hotel (WMH). WMH was sold to a developer in summer 2017. The tenant association organized so no one had to move out until August 2018, people received additional funds to move, and 25 preserved units when the building is redeveloped. This benefited over 150 low income men. The developer paid out at least $600,000 in forgiven back rent, moving support for tenants and the settlement with the tenants.

  • Won ballot referendum in the 46th ward of Chicago supporting rent control on November 6, 2018. ONE Northside leaders collected over 2,000 signatures to place the question on the ballot in the gentrifying community. Leaders mobilized voters and the referendum won with 70.56% of the voters in support.

  • Won $5 million for single room occupancy building (SRO) maintenance and preservation in the November 2021 city budget. This means that building owners can maintain and improve their buildings without turning to large developers and tenants don’t have to fear relocating. The result of years of organizing by the SRO team, this is crucial funding will improve the conditions of SROs right now and preserve those units as affordable for the next 30 years.

  • Passed the Bring Chicago Home real estate transfer tax proposal in November 2021 in City Council and put it in front of voters. Though it was defeated at the ballot, our North Side wards overwhelmingly voted in favor of BCH. We’re proud of the work our leaders did on this campaign, and know that we changed the narrative around homelessness and funding for affordable housing. 

Ready To Get Involved?

Affordable housing