Input Needed: Chicago Housing & Economic Development Bond Program

Chicago Housing and Economic Development Bond Program

The City of Chicago is proposing a major change to financing housing and economic development programs, and REALTORS® have been asked to weigh in.

REALTORS® Statement on Bond Proposal (updated 4/12/24)

REALTORS® have been fighting for housing affordability and equitability for decades. Our 17,000 members throughout the city are committed to helping everyone achieve the American Dream of homeownership. After a thoughtful examination of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s bond proposal to invest $1.25 billion over five years in housing and economic development programs, we are in support of the proposal.

With nearly 40 percent of the existing Tax Increment Financing districts (TIFs) set to expire over the next few years, we believe that appropriating those revenues to general obligation bonds is a reasonable approach to provide funding for the city’s critical housing programs. We support this creative approach to fund much needed programs without additional property tax increases.

While this proposal contains the promise of a long-term funding source for necessary city services, we strongly believe that it will only be successful if there is accountability, transparency and a net zero impact on property taxes for residents. Just as important, all key stakeholders need to be engaged and participate in all discussions to make this successful. The REALTOR® community is ready and willing to be a full participant in this endeavor to enhance our city.

The Proposal

The Johnson administration proposed an additional $1.25 billion investment over 5 years for Chicago’s housing and economic development programs. The administration’s proposal would “restructure Chicago’s approach to equitable neighborhood development” by sunsetting a majority of the City’s Tax Increment Financing Districts (TIFs), which are used as an economic development tool, to appropriate that revenue instead to “general obligation bonds.”

These bonds would be used to finance homeownership and affordable housing programs, but the shift away from TIFs would constitute a significant change in economic development policy.


This feedback will be presented to our Public Policy Coordinating Committee and Board of Directors to determine an official stance from the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.

You can also submit your feedback in the form on this page. This issue is expected to move quickly and we are asking for feedback by April 4th.

Event Recap

On Tuesday, April 2nd at our Coffee with Your GAD event, the Mayor’s office joined us to present this proposal, and attendees provided feedback afterward. Check out the event recap below. Use the password “chicagorealtors430” to watch.

Additional Resources

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