The left-wing media is going crazy over the indictment of Trump, but there hasn’t been a word about how the building of a library for another former president is displacing poor black families in Chicago.
Residents of Chicago’s South Side have been complaining that the building of the Obama Presidential Center has caused rents to go up a lot, forcing many long-time residents, including many black families, to move out.
In 2021, former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama will start building the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side of Chicago.
On a 19-acre lot, the center will have a public library, playground, community centers, and a museum.
Private donors have given most of the money for the $500 million project. It is thought that the construction, which is still going on, will bring $3.1 billion to the area. It is also expected to bring in an extra $16.5 million in state and local taxes.
At the ceremony to start building the center, Obama told the crowd that it would “give back” to Chicago, especially the South Side.
“The Obama Presidential Center is our way of repaying some of what this amazing city has given us,” the former president stated.
But people who have lived in the area for a long time say that the center has already started to change the community for the better. Residents said that since construction started, investors have bought up all the properties in the area and raised rent prices by a lot.
The average rent in the area went up by 43% during that time. Zillow says that since the project was announced, home values have gone up by more than 130%.
Priscilla Dixon, who lives in Chicago, said that the areas near the Obama Center used to be close-knit communities where many black families lived.
“In political spaces, people can become numbers, experiences can become trends,” Dixon stated. “But the reality is that this is about real people, and we don’t want the Obama Center — the center honoring the first black president — to be another page in the long history of displacing black people or doing harm to black families. The city is the only one that can stop that.”
“I’m a working mother who can’t afford to live in my own community that I’ve lived in for 42 years,” Tahiti Hamer, a Chicago resident, told the local press.
Hamer, a single mother of three, said she had to leave her neighborhood more than a year ago because her landlord raised her rent by almost 40% and she couldn’t afford it anymore.
Chinella Miller, who lives in South Shore, told the Post that her landlord raised the rent by 90%, which forced her to move to a different area. Miller says that the Obama Center is often mentioned as a reason to buy a home in the area.
William Sites, a professor in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at the nearby University of Chicago, told the Washington Post, “With a development of this size and economic impact, it was unavoidable that it would have a profound effect on the local housing market and exacerbate existing affordability challenges for many low-income residents of Woodlawn and South Shore.”