October 6, 2006

Letter to the Editor

Affordable housing

I write in reference to the October 3, 2006 news article “Local residents rally against gentrification,” by Sarah Hetherington.

First and foremost, I would like to commend the Maroon for its coverage of the rally last Saturday.

Moreover, the Metropolitan Tenants Organization (MTO) should also be recognized for their organization of the event and for having the courage to say, “we’re not gonna take this sitting down.”

It is in this context that I write today.

Much of this very same process is taking place before our very eyes in the areas around 61st and Cottage Grove.

There, development and gentrification are not only driving rents through the ceiling but also negatively impacting those communities that have to bear the brunt of this rapid expansion.

These residents, however, are not the only ones that are impacted by this development, since students who attend the U of C are also having to pay what one manager told me was “market value.”

Rent that used to be $565 in 2003 is now $745 in some pleaces, so one can only imagine the incredible burden that residents have to carry in many cases.

I am encouraged by the organization of the MTO and would humbly suggest that the residents of 61st and Cottage Grove, along with students from the U of C, support and augment this burgeoning movement.

José Angel Hernández

Ph.D. student in history