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Mayor's Office Pushing For Moratorium On Closures Of SRO Hotels


CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Emanuel Administration has joined with housing advocates to introduce a proposed moratorium on conversions and demolitions of single room occupancy hotels.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports advocates have said many people are being left homeless because residential hotels have been closing in increasing numbers.

Adelaide Meyers, with the neighborhood group One Northside, said she's concerned because, since 2011, more than 2,000 SRO and residential hotel rooms have been converted by developers into higher-priced buildings.

"If we lose another 6,000 units, I am worried about how many people are going to end up homeless," she said.

Chicago Building Commissioner Felicia Davis said the Emanuel administration wants to enact a six-month moratorium on closing SROs in Chicago, to give all parties a chance to come up with a permanent solution to preserve such housing.

"We're not standing here today to say that we know what the outcome will be at the end, but that over the next six months, we'll have lots of discussions with all of the partners – including developers, owners, advocates, as well as the other elected officials here today," she said.

Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), who sponsored the proposed moratorium, said he's also looking for more resources to keep existing SRO hotels going.

Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th) said the moratorium would give the city to buy time to come up with a comprehensive solution, and possibly figure out how to build more SRO hotels.


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