Woodlawn Non-Displacement Strategy

Getting Ahead of Gentrification: Woodlawn’s Strategy for Managing Involuntary Displacement presented by Network of Woodlawn – Woodlawn Partnership for Economic Development (WPED)

Abstract: The announcement of the Obama Presidential Center and Tiger Woods led redesign of the Jackson Park Golf Course, coupled with the continued expansion of the University of Chicago, the success of the city’s Micro Market Recovery Program and the deployment of the POAH administered thirty-million dollar Choice Award have all converged, indelibly transforming the Woodlawn neighborhood. These achievements have also unavoidably fanned the flames of displacement fear. In a community where +77% of all households are renting, that distress is not unfounded. Several studies commissioned by the Network of Woodlawn, successor to the LISC New Communities Program for this south side Chicago neighborhood, together with data compiled by the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University, have revealed that some 70% of all renters in Woodlawn were rent burdened in 2016. Rents since then have continued to soar. And while an estimated 33% of all households enjoy the protection of government-assisted housing, there is an uncomfortably high number of low, moderate and middle income renters, the “Uncomfortable Middle,” which are perilously vulnerable to involuntary displacement. The Network of Woodlawn has advanced several strategies to both identify vulnerable population and to advance public policies to alleviate this risk. Absent preemptive public policy, this neighborhood is poised to join other gentrified American communities where displacement may have been contained.


DePaul University – Institute for Housing Studies

Mapping Displacement Pressure in Chicago (Where and how displacement can happen)


IHS Data Projects:


University of Illinois – Nathalie P. Voorhees Center for Neighborhood & Community Improvement

Gentrification and Neighborhood Change – Gentrification Management Toolkit  (Strategies for communities to fight gentrification)

URL: http://voorheescenter.red.uic.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/122/2017/10/Gentrification-and-Neighborhood-Change-Toolkit.pdf

City of Chicago – Department of Planning and Development

Woodlawn TIF-NIP (What this resource means and who qualifies)

URL: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dcd/supp_info/tax_increment_financing-neighborhoodimprovementprogramtif-nip.html

Woodlawn TIF Page (financial statement, Projections and Area Map)

URL: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dcd/supp_info/tif/woodlawn_tif_.html

Abandoned Housing Rehabilitation Act.  (310 ILCS 50/)

URL: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1432&ChapterID=29

Chicago Neighborhood Rebuild Pilot Program (A rehab funding strategy we want exported to Woodlawn)

URL: https://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dcd/supp_info/chicago-neighborhood-rebuild-pilot-program.html

City Lots for Working Families (How the program works to help build affordable inventory for middle class families)


Harvard University, Joint Center for Housing Studies

Housing Cost Burden (A national comparative study) and (State of housing in America – 2017)

URL: http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/son2017-housing-cost-burdens-table

URL: http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/harvard_jchs_state_of_the_nations_housing_2017.pdf