Support the Just Housing Amendment

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 10.09.04 AMOne out of every three Americans has an arrest record. Nearly 50% of children have a parent with a criminal record. Housing policies that ban people with records disproportionately affects people of color and people with disabilities.

The Just Housing Amendment will ban discrimination in real estate transactions based on one’s covered criminal history, help reduce recidivism and make Cook County a safe place, as well as protect children and families from the consequences of housing instability. People re-entering their communities with access to stable housing are seven times less likely to recividate than those facing homelessness.

Home is the cornerstone from which people build better lives for themselves and their families. People with criminal records, like everyone else, deserve a place to call home. Housing is a right!

Condo Conversion: Action Update


On Tuesday, April 19th, the Mayor’s Condo Conversion Task Force met to discuss proposed changes to their report in the latest episode in the now five-year long battle for an ordinance to protect renters and condo buyers during condo conversions.

The Task Force is proposing to change the notification period from 120 days to 180 days.  For seniors and those people with disabilities, notification would change from 180 to 210 days.  The Task Force also recommends that low and moderate income renters receive relocation assistance.  The assistance equals the larger of one month’s rent or $1,500 up to a maximum of $2,500.  City officials are still discussing how they will identify renters who qualify for this assistance.

The bill has been close to passing before and we are hopeful it will pass on Mayor Daley’s final City Council meeting.  Significant progress has been made; however, there are still obstacles ahead.  The next hurdle to clear is for the Housing Committee of the City Council to approve the bill.  The Housing Committee’s meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3rd, at 10:30am in room 200. MTO is encouraging all renters who have experienced displacement due to condo conversion to attend and testify.

MTO has been working on condo conversion since 2006.  In 2006, renters marched through the Hyde Park neighborhood demanding justice for those being displaced by rampant condo conversion.  In response, the Mayor convened the Condo Conversion Task Force; however, it failed to meet for a year.  Following another demonstration led by MTO, this time at City Hall, the Committee held its first meeting.  MTO was able to win a seat for a renter on the committee and has continued to monitor its work.

While there have been many ups and downs, a hopeful conclusion to years of struggle is close at hand.  All those interested in attending the meeting of the Housing Committee on May 3rd to testify about their experiences should contact Shirley Johnson at 773.292.4980 ext. 224.

Major Protest Friday Against Devastating Budget Cuts

Not on Our Backs: Stop the Slash-and-Burn Budget Cuts to HUD

Friday, February 25th
4pm – Teach In and Testimonies; 77 W. Washington – The Chicago Temple
4:45pm – March and Rally at the Thompson Center; 100 W. Randolph – Corner of Randolph and Clark

23.8% cuts to HUD’s budget will devastate Illinois communities

Just a few of the specifics include…

  • 67% – 70% cuts to Housing for the Elderly & Disabled

  • Over $78.3 Million will be cut from IL’s public housing budget, leading to unsafe conditions & continued demolitions while over 118,000 families languish on IL public housing and voucher waiting lists
  • Additionally, LIHEAP is being slashed 66% and WIC is being cut 10%
  • Funding for Community Health Centers is cut 46%

We need you to come out and make your voices heard! RSVP to Sara Mathers at 773.292.4980 x 240 or by email at

Sponsored by the Chicago Housing Initiative, Kenwood Oakland Community Organizations,  Jane Addams Senior Caucus,  Logan Square Neighborhood Association,  Lakeview Action Coalition, Metropolitan Tenants Organization,  O.N.E.,  Southside Together Organizing for Power

Co-Sponsoring Organizations:  Access Living,  Action NOW,  Chicago Area Fair Housing Alliance,  Bickerdike,  Chicago Coalition for the Homeless,  Coalition to Protest Public Housing,  Housing Action Illinois,  Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs,  Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, and growing.

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities