Arena praises affordable housing group for support
by BRIAN NADIG
A City Council resolution introduced on April 10 by Alderman John Arena (45th) praises Neighbors for Affordable Housing for the group’s support of the mixed-income housing development at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy.
The resolution also criticizes project opponents, charging that they used "extreme harassment and intimidation" to try to stop the project. Arena, who was recently defeated by firefighter Jim Gardiner, introduced the resolution at his final council meeting before his term ends next month.
The "5150" project, as it is known in the community, calls for the construction of a seven-story, 75-unit building, including 30 apartments subsidized by the Chicago Housing Authority. The first floor reportedly will include a church and offices for social service agencies.
"Neighbors for Affordable Housing worked to dispel the stigmas surrounding affordable housing, organizing events and going door-to-door to talk to their neighbors (and) partnered with community members and other organizations to advocate for quality, accessible housing for persons with disabilities and veterans," the resolution states.
In 2017, Neighbors issued a press release with a headline calling for the area’s "shameful legacy" of segregation to end. Arena was one of several North and Northwest Side aldermen who signed a pledge calling for 50 new CHA units in their ward in an effort to help end segregation.
Meanwhile, the Illinois Housing Development Authority is considering an application to issue low-income housing tax credits for the Northwest Highway project. A decision is expected by May 17.