Addressing the
Housing Crisis

Addressing the city’s housing crisis is crucial. The city has begun to invest in these resources, but to effectively combat the homelessness crisis, we need to invest in a mix of affordable housing stock, emergency housing, temporary housing, and permanent supportive housing: anything less is a bandaid when we need a surgeon. 

As Mayor, I’ll be committed to bringing transparency and accountability to CHA – today, it’s too hard to find the right information, especially information on wait lists, current data on housing status, and how money is being spent. The CHA and the Chicago Department of Housing should be working closely together to create more affordable housing across the city, and my administration will be committed to taking better advantage of the existing resources both agencies oversee. I’ll also make sure we have sufficient funding to create and build upon the programs our communities need the most.

We need to focus on growing Chicago – that means investing in building our city with affordable housing options for everyone. My administration will prioritize fixing these systems to make it easier and more affordable to find housing.

Kam Buckner Chicago Housing Plan

Reform the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT)

  • Reconfigure the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) to make sure these dedicated funds are put towards addressing housing as it is at the State level. 
  • Expand upper-limit of the RETT to fund key programs, including:
    • Rehabilitating single-family homes in distressed neighborhoods
    • Creating new affordable multi-family housing
    • Expanding access to the city’s non-congregate homeless shelters
  • Evaluate improvements to this program and determine other potential opportunities to improve housing using the RETT.

Bolster City-Level Structures & Management

  • Establish a role within City Hall focused solely on increasing and managing affordable housing stock. This cabinet-level position would coordinate across departments, work directly with builders, and manage the creation and maintenance of affordable housing across the city.
  • Expand the number of CHA housing vouchers that allow renters to find homes in neighborhoods that aren’t racially and economically segregated.
  • Evaluate the Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) pilot and identify opportunities to improve and expand it. 
  • Invest in new housing innovation such as adaptive reuse to create more affordable and innovative housing design through land grants.
  • Crack down on appraisers that have been racially biased and discriminatory.

Bolster City-Level Structures & Management

Create Affordable Housing Across the City

  • Partner with neighborhood builders to establish naturally-occurring affordable housing units in each community. Create a coalition of neighborhood builders to advise on affordable housing opportunities citywide.
  • Prioritize housing development near CTA public transportation that can be developed quickly using transit-oriented development initiatives.
  • Incentivize and encourage the development of new 2-flat builds as a tool to boost economic development and provide families with alternative ways to grow financially.
  • Find ways to reduce construction costs to build more affordable housing (e.g., reform the antiquated plumbing code).

The Plan

Together, we can put Kam’s 4 Star Plan into immediate action.