Increase Demolition Fees

Increase Demolition Fees


Increased Demolition Fees

Preservation Chicago supports the increase of demolition fees proposed by the City of Chicago to slow the loss of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH), to slow the trend of developer’s outbidding potential homeowners, and to protect historic single-family homes 2-flat, 3-flats and other “missing middle” housing, and to generate a source of funding that can be used to protect and restore endangered “missing middle” housing in neighborhoods of disinvestment.

The City of Chicago proposed a $15,000 fee for demolishing a house, townhouse or two-flat and $5,000-per-unit for tearing down multi-unit residential buildings.

The intial pilot program focused on areas of extreme demolition and gentrification along the 606 Trail in Logan Square and Pilsen was highly successful. Total demolitions were significantly reduced and significant funds were generated to support the Chicago Community Land Trust.

“In the year since the fees were imposed, there has been an 88% reduction in demolitions near the 606 trail and a 25% drop in Pilsen.” (Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/21/22)

“Pilsen Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) noted the two-year extension works together with two anti-deconversion ordinances intended to slow gentrification displacing long-time residents of Pilsen and the neighborhoods of Logan Square, Wicker Park, Humboldt Park and Bucktown that border the 606, officially the Bloomingdale Trail.

“Anti-deconversion ordinances ‘protect density’ by making it harder for owners and developers of property on certain blocks to turn their multi-unit buildings into expensive single-family homes.

“‘The demolition fees … have shown great results. … In our community — with very few exceptions of realtors and speculators — the community has seen, with optimism, that these policies will help protect … [not only] the density, but also the affordability,” Sigcho-Lopez said.

“We cannot fall into this argument that, somehow, these $15,000 fees for demolition somehow will impact the small homeowner [for the] worse. This will be helpful to the small homeowner or the senior that we’re trying to protect.”‘(Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/21/22)

Finance Committee OKs keeping demolition fees in Pilsen and along 606 trail; The surcharges, being extended for two more years, are $15,000 for demolishing a house, townhouse or two-flat and $5,000-per-unit for tearing down multi-unit residential buildings. Critics have said such fees steal equity from residents who ‘stuck it out through tough times.’, Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, 3/21/22