CECD Coalition for Equitable Commuity Development


Affordable housing in Hyde Park-Kenwood and the surrounding communities is shrinking and will continue to shrink, without community intervention.


  • By definition, housing is considered "affordable" if the family pays no more than 30% of their gross income (before tax) for housing costs.
  • In Hyde Park, about half of renters pay more than 30% of their income in housing costs, and a quarter pay more than 50% of their income in housing costs.
  • In Hyde Park-Kenwood, the value of owner-occupied housing rose by 31% between 2000 and 2005, whereas median household income rose by only 18%.


The income needed annually for a family of four at the median regional income to pay for a home deemed affordable is over $85,000. And new requirements and costs being imposed by lenders and governments since the mortgage /foreclosure crisis are and will be more significant. The largest two household costs are housing and transportation.


In 2007, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Chicago area was $832 per month, and for a two-bedroom apartment it was $935 per month.


The average earnings by profession:


Bank teller




Child care worker


Food Prep worker


Nursing Aide


Office clerk


Retail salesperson


Security Guard


Stock Clerk



In 2007, the median priced home was $262,000 in the Chicago area. To afford the median priced home, an individual would need to earn $85,589. The average earnings by profession:



Civil engineer


Elem. School teacher


Family social worker


Fire fighter




Registered Nurse


Physical Therapist


Police Officer


Urban Planner


Source:  Chicago Rehab Network


Affordability and diversity go hand in hand: Hyde Park may be in danger of losing its income-level balance and record as a community welcoming to all income levels, and hence its ranking as ....


The third most diverse neighborhood in Chicago


From Redeye, July 28, 2oo8, by Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz


...in a city that historically has been racially segregated...Uptown and other traditionally diverse neighborhoods, including Rogers Park, Hyde Park and Edgewater, are remarkable because they've managed to thrive as diverse communities for decades, becoming neither slums nor totally gentrified as other have....


Community groups that push for affordable housing and good health care, schools and jobs are paramount to maintaining neighborhood diversity, Maly [Michael Maly, Sociology Chair, Roosevelt University] said. The Organization of the North East, founded 34 years ago to "build and sustain a successful multi-ethnic, mixed-economic community"... is an important example,' he said. "....They've gotten people to work on projects together."


Some diversity stems not from tradition, but demographic shifts. Such diversity can be temporary [or tipped where high-end purchasing prevails]. [Maly adds, "I think it's important for our country to have those kinds of spaces where people can rub elbows."


Abstracted from the the measures that went into the ranking: Hyde Park (No. 3)

Measurements of the top 20 "most diverse" communities

41% White, 39% Black, 12% Asian, 5% Hispanic, 6% other (Hispanic question was answered separately.)

46% low income, 38% middle income, 16% high income
This is average for low income in this set of 20 communities- extremes 61% New City, 26% Ashburn,
rather low for middle income- extremes 59% Ashburn, 32% Near West Side.
Hyde Park is highest (tied with Near West Side) for high income- majority 5%-7%

13% children (under 18), 67% adult (ages 18-54), 20% senior (over 55)
by far the lowest in children, the highest in adults under 55, third highest in seniors (with Uptown)