Affordable housing projects will not harm neighborhood growth and value

I am writing to advocate for a project in my community: the Emmett Street Project. Its purpose is to provide affordable rental housing for those who still want to live in the Logan Square neighborhood. The project is funded by the Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation.

The architect, Landon Bone Baker, incorporated all the necessities to make this project high quality. It is a fully serviced building, with a multi-level design that includes laundry facilities, a main hall, bike storage and other accommodations.

However, there is a problem: some neighbors vehemently oppose it.

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The neighborhood that was once frowned upon and considered a high crime area occupied by minorities is now a trendy place to live. My family has been a part of Logan Square for over 40 years. Many of my relatives have seen the advancement of this area, with new developments, convenience stores and small businesses, mainly bars and restaurants. These new additions have been seen as very beneficial to neighborhood safety and have increased our appeal as a community. This has allowed for more job opportunities and more activities for young people, while reducing crime and boosting morale.

However, all these advances come at a cost. Many residents were evicted as property taxes rose and rents rose to keep up with these new taxes. Longtime residents and those less fortunate were evicted. Low-income people of color no longer felt safe, protected, or culturally connected.

Some new residents distributed a petition to stop construction of the Emmett Street project. The flyers were posted everywhere, with the main concern that they didn’t want their neighborhood to be run down. Although their concerns are similar to those of my family, everyone should understand that inclusiveness is best for any community.

We should erase the stigma that affordable housing projects ruin the potential growth and value of a neighborhood. Discrimination against anyone should be prohibited.

Mireya Alvarez, Logan Square, student at Northeastern Illinois University

Masks are never essential on CTA

Sorry, but the title of your article, “Masks are no longer essential”, couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite pleas from CTA employees and Chicago residents and after a local news station aired a video of maskless passengers crowding a train, the CTA and the mayor have not enforced mask-wearing in trains and buses.

Masks were never a “must” and this non-compliance with the mandate most certainly caused some Chicagoans to become infected.

Why does CTA seem to get a pass from City Hall when it comes to security, whether it’s COVID threats or criminals?

Michael PearsonEnglewood

Historic spaces

Thank you very much for your unique insight into the Antioch Church fire. My heart still aches from that fire, and my attempt to remain silent is most difficult.

Yes, the inept roofing policy is a major national problem. But we also need logical ways to communicate with owners of historic spaces. Many heritage places have no connection to municipal units.

The construction department should be friendly enough for institutions to approach them with questions.

John Paul Jones, Founder and Chairman, Sustainable Englewood Initiatives

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