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Addressing 'Reverse White Flight' in Chicago

A new report from the Urban Institute and the Metropolitan Planning Council looks at ways to fight perpetual segregation as Chicago's affluent white population booms.
May 30, 2018, 11am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Payton Chung

In a trend that Tanvi Misra characterizes as "white flight, in reverse," estimates indicate that by 2030, "[Chicago's] white population will increase by 14 percent, and rich households making over $125,000 will grow by a striking 42 percent." Meanwhile, the black population will decline by 17 percent while lower-income Latinos move into surrounding suburbs.

To combat this reshuffled pattern of residential segregation, the report "offers specific policies to increase opportunity and options for residents living in historically disinvested neighborhoods, minimize the racial wealth gap, combat systemic racism, and improve health and safety. Improving access to affordable housing, according to the report, is a crucial step that helps achieve all these outcomes."

The report's recommendation to decrease local control over affordable housing proposals has provoked the strongest reactions so far, Misra says. Other recommendations include 10-year tax incentives for property owners who implement more affordable units and an expansion of the city's housing voucher program.

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Published on Monday, May 21, 2018 in CityLab
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