The Housing Issue 2018

Everyone deserves a place to call home. The sentiment—drawn from this issue’s opening essay—is simple, and we all know it’s easier said than done. But given the roadblocks, it’s worth restating—this powerful right forms the backbone for this year’s Housing Issue. In a year in which rent control has been hotly debated in the city, in which more and more Chicagoans are coming to believe that housing is a basic human right, we at the Weekly are thinking about the fact that this issue has always been about homes as much as housing. Home is not just the built landscape and physical places in which people dwell, but the ways in which they find comfort, permanence, and community in those places. In the struggle to ensure decent, affordable housing for everyone in our city, how do we make sure that they can also become homes—and that the homes people make in them can be sustained? This year, these questions have led us from Cabrini-Green on the Near North Side to the future Imani Village in Roseland and everywhere in between: the itinerant, years-long journeys that result in steadfast birthplaces of poetry; the ongoing battles fought over gentrification and self-determination; the homes we lost of which only histories, memories, and excavations remain. Although, as rents keep getting raised and the threat of eviction must be prepared for, these intractable questions are sure to endure, the stories in this issue testify to a promising range of answers, and to the answers yet to come.

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Through the Cracks” → I have lost my roof three times

The Rent Control Debate” → Where rents rise and wages stagnate, affordable housing is a package deal

Know Your Rights: Eviction” → Answers to common questions from renters facing eviction

A Shelter, Fallen Out of Favor” → A Cold War legacy in the basement of a 55th Street firehouse

Home Histories → The secret lives of the Southwest Side Airport Homes and Gwendolyn Brooks’s house in Greater Grand Crossing

Who Pulls the Strings on the PLUC?” → Pilsen’s Land Use Committee draws heat for cozy relationship with its alderman

The Personal Histories of Public Housing” → Ben Austen’s detailed history shows the story of Cabrini-Green is as relevant as ever

Healthy Housing Takes a Village” → Imani Village, a decade in the works, prepares to open its first center

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