The City of Chicago plans to convert the five million square feet of vacant commercial space into affordable mixed housing for low-income households.
Affordable Housing Units in Chicago
The City Chicago is one of the busiest cities in the country before the pandemic. Chicago’s downtown area was once the heart of the city’s economy. However, the physical offices in high-towering buildings were significantly closed during the pandemic because the owners were affected by the effect of COVID-19.
In a published article in BUSINESS INSIDER, the number of vacancies in office spaces increased to 22.4% during the first quarter of 2023. The City of Chicago now plans to convert these spaces into affordable mixed housing for low-income households.
5 Million Square Feet to be Converted Into Affordable Housing
According to a published article in MSN News, the five million square feet will be part of the program “LaSalle Reimagined Initiative.” There are three proposals under this program and each needs funding from the local government.
It is estimated that around 1.6 million square feet are intended for tenants who earn an average of 60% of the area’s median income. The Commissioner of Chicago’s Department of Housing said, that the “LaSalle Reimagined Initiative” aims to help 600 low-income households.
She said, “Without the crucial infusion of public dollars into these redevelopments, we would continue with single-digit units and single-digit opportunities for people who need a subsidy to live affordably to be able to live in the Loop.”