Remarks by Jonathan Fanton At Event Announcing Establishment Of New Chicago Community Land Trust
December 1, 2005 | Speech | Housing

Thank you, Mayor Daley for your kind words about the Foundation's support for the city of Chicago and the creation of the Chicago Community Land Trust. It is a privilege to join you today to announce this important initiative, which will enable hundreds of Chicago families to afford homes in communities that are improving. There is mounting evidence that stable, affordable housing helps people get and keep jobs, advances their health and well-being, and is a vital ingredient for the economic vitality of neighborhoods, cities and regions.

The shortage of affordable housing is a national issue. In the last decade, the United States has lost hundreds of thousands of affordable homes as markets soared and put housing out of reach for many working families.  From the city's ambitious and historic Plan for Transformation to revitalize public housing, to this cutting-edge implementation of the land trust model, which will maintain affordable homes for low- and moderate-income families, Chicago is at the forefront of American communities seeking creative solutions to this critical problem.

Other cities have created community-land trusts on a limited basis, with great success. But Chicago will be the first city in the country to apply the land-trust concept at scale, citywide – evidence of the bold vision and practical wisdom guiding Chicago into the future and safe-guarding its public investments for generations to come.

It gives me special satisfaction that this event takes place in Humboldt Park, one of the sixteen communities where the Local Initiatives Support Corporation's New Communities Program is at work, an organization supported by the Foundation. And it is especially fitting that we are gathered at the Kedzie Townhomes, developed by the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, which is led by a MacArthur Fellow, Paul Roldan. Nothing could demonstrate better the MacArthur Foundation's commitment to our hometown, and our conviction that Chicago is leading the search for innovative solutions to metropolitan problems.

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