Mayor Brandon Johnson recently announced a new proposal dubbed “Bring Chicago Home,” which would raise about $100 million dollars to fight homelessness by raising taxes on all sales above $1 million, and then an additional hike on sales of more than $1.5 million dollars.
Despite the enthusiasm of supporters who held a City Hall rally before the City Council meeting and packed the chambers, Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd Ward) tried, but failed, to prevent it from heading directly to a committee hearing and vote.
A slate of county and state offices is up for grabs in March, including state’s attorney and circuit court clerk as well as a key seat in the Illinois House to represent the city’s Northwest Side.
A revised version of the proposal known as “Bring Chicago Home” has Mayor Brandon Johnson’s support, setting up a fierce debate in the coming weeks over how the city should fight homelessness.
Mayor Brandon Johnson, a former middle school teacher, told WTTW News on Thursday’s “Chicago Tonight” that he would give his administration an A-minus “at least for style,” with much more work to be done.
According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, more than 65,000 Chicagoans are currently unhoused.
Supporters of the proposal say the change will help the nearly 66,000 Chicagoans who are unhoused by generating approximately $160 million annually — enough to address the root causes of homelessness by building new permanent housing that offers wraparound services like substance abuse counseling.
House Bill 2831 codifies an executive order Pritzker signed in 2021 that established the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness. It centralizes programs across 17 state departments and agencies to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to combat homelessness.
“This can set a model for the rest of the city,” Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th Ward) said, envisioning a similar shelter in each of Chicago’s 50 wards.
Dubbed the ALL INside initiative, officials with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is made up of 19 federal agencies, vowed to work for two years to get unsheltered people into homes by identifying new funding and bringing together philanthropic and nonprofit groups.
Activist Aleta Clark has hosted “sleep outs” under a Pilsen viaduct to raise funds to support Chicago's homeless communities and open a shelter.
On Monday, President Joe Biden unveiled his plan to cut homelessness by 25% by 2025. While the president is promising federal aid to help solve the crisis, advocates for the homeless argue there are local strategies that must be implemented as well.
Dozens of Chicagoans who waited hours to get their turn to address the Chicago City Council were prevented from speaking because a majority of the Chicago City Council attended Monday's special meeting.
Supporters of the proposal say the change will help the nearly 66,000 Chicagoans who are unhoused by generating approximately $160 million annually.
A recent report by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless found at least 65,000 people were experiencing homelessness in the city in 2020, which includes those who temporarily stayed with others in addition to people living in shelters and on the street.
A new proposal would increase the city’s real estate transfer tax, a one-time tax paid when a property is sold, by nearly 2% on properties over $1 million. An advocacy organization says the move would impact about 4% of properties sold and would generate $163 million to fund permanent affordable housing with services.