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Support for approval of proposed Dept. of Planning and Development and Dept. of Housing ETOD budget allocations

Dear Members of the Committee on Budget and Government Operations:

I am writing on behalf of the Metropolitan Planning Council to ask you to vote in favor of the proposed budgets for the Dept. of Planning and Development and the Dept. of Housing, which allocate funding to support implementation of the City’s recently adopted Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) Policy Plan.

The Metropolitan Planning Council has worked to support the equitable transit-oriented in Chicago since 2015, providing analysis, policy recommendations, tools, and technical assistance to increase knowledge and elevate the benefits of development near transit across different markets. As a member of the ETOD Working Group that was tasked with developing the policy plan required by the 2019 TOD ordinance, we pushed for a collaborative process and continue to work with the City and our Elevated Chicago colleagues to support implementation.

We believe that TOD, when implemented with a racial equity lens, can help to reduce socioeconomic gaps between neighborhoods, connect people to new communities and new opportunities and ensure that development in transit-served locations benefits people regardless of their income or background.

Under the City’s ETOD policy plan the increased funding allocated for transit-oriented development can help support projects that preserve affordable housing for families like the Emmett Street Apartments in Logan Square, connect local entrepreneurs to accessible state of the art facilities and resources in their neighborhood like the Hatchery, and re-imagine underutilized spaces for economic opportunity that also build social cohesion like Boxville.

A vote in favor of these proposed budget allocations is essential to advancing the equitable development and recovery of communities across Chicago.