Photos: Uptown Protesters March For Affordable Housing, Rights Of The Homeless

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Oct 4, 2016 5:55PM

About a hundred people rallied in Uptown Monday evening to protest how the police are dealing with a local tent city and to bring their call for more affordable housing to the alderman.

The march, organized by Uptown Ten City, North Side Action for Justice and the Gay Liberation Network, went to Alderman James Cappleman's Uptown office, where three protesters were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing after they occupied his office for two hours and refused to leave.

Homelessness and the lack of affordable housing is an enduring issue in Chicago, but will become even more pressing as the weather turns colder. Activists said the city needs to address this issue by putting more money into housing affordability and not allowing Tax Increment Financing dollars to go toward luxury housing development.

In a statement, organizers said police have been illegally harassing homeless Chicagoans living in tents beneath Uptown underpasses and City Hall has approved TIF funding to luxury rental developments while the shelter at Preston Bradley Center is slated to close this winter. The statement, written on Facebook, says:

"Rather than fund several low income housing projects ("SRO's") threatened with closure, Mayor Emanuel and Uptown Alderman James Cappleman approved a $15.8 million TIF giveaway (our tax money) to a politically connected developer to develop luxury housing with one bedroom apartments renting for over $2000 a month.

For lack of a few hundred thousand dollars-chump change compared to the millions Cappleman has showered on housing for the wealthy-the shelter at the Preston Bradley Center is slated to close just before Christmas. Our neighborhood has lost over 1000 units of SRO housing since Cappleman was elected, most recently losing 163 units at The Lorelei on Lawrence and 75 units at The Hazleton on Montrose."