What’s the Story?

The Preservation Compact brings together the region’s public, private, and nonprofit leaders to address the loss of affordable rental housing stock in Cook County.

What is Affordable Rental Housing?

The vast majority of affordable rental housing receives no government subsidy. Housing is considered affordable when a family pays no more than 30 percent of their income for housing costs.  A family needs to earn about $40,000 per year to afford a median priced two-bedroom apartment in Cook County, which costs $1,000 per month.

Why is Affordable Housing Important?

Many households are rent burdened. More than 75 percent of renters making between less than $34,000 per year pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent and basic utilities.

Rents are increasing. Though rent changes vary by neighborhood, strong markets have had significant increases.  Overall, rents have increased by 14% in Chicago and 13% in the suburbs since 2005.

More people are renting. Between 2007 and 2009, the number of renter occupied homes increased by nearly 54,000, while the number of owner-occupied homes decreased by 63,000.

Demand will continue to grow. The number of Cook County residents needing affordable rental housing increased 9% since 2005, and the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University projects that even if economic growth is modest, 44,000 additional units of affordable housing will be needed by 2020.


The Preservation Compact Report

Preserving rental buildings is a conservative, cost effective way to meet growing demand for good quality housing.  Read more in The Preservation Compact’s 2012 report.

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By the Numbers

Learn all of the facts about affordable rental housing in Cook County.

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Preservation Profiles

Renters live wide variety of types of buildings in both the city and the suburbs. Learn about some recent projects and the people who are involved in them. 

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