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Ald. Rey Colón (35th Ward) on homelessness and housing

Wed, Apr 24, 2013

Rey ColonRey Colón of the Logan Square neighborhood (Kennedy Expressway to the Northeast, Courtland to the South, Lawndale/Avers to the West) said he is aware of the need for a “single service system” to end homelessness as is encouraged by the Plan to End Homelessness 2.0, which mandates such a communal effort. “Without a significant investment in affordable housing,” Colón said, “we will continue to struggle to make an impact on this crisis.”

For the plan to succeed, Colón understands that local residents must be further educated on “how they can participate in becoming a part of then solution.”

He believes that an increase in affordable housing in his ward would help the situation of homelessness and those at risk of homelessness. “The difficulty is getting residents to agree to accept subsidized housing and services near their homes,” Colón said. “Every affordable project I have worked on over the past decade has been met with local resistance and even lawsuits.”

Colón observes a direct link to an affordable city and a racially-integrated city. “I believe housing would be more affordable citywide if we had greater ethnic and economic diversity in all neighborhoods,” Colón said. “The challenge is educating the public and getting neighborhood people to embrace that mix.”

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