Moratorium on SRO conversion while long-term solution is crafted

Low-income residents, seniors and people with disabilities are running out of places to live in Chicago as more and more single-room occupancy buildings are being converted into high-value housing. An SRO preservation ordinance — which has plenty of support, but plenty of details to iron out — was put on hold last month. In the interim, the city, aldermen and activist groups today introduced an ordinance that would place a six-month moratorium on SRO conversions, preventing a possible spate of development and additional evictions until the preservation ordinance is passed. The ban prohibits the issuance of city permits for conversion and demolition, as well as any action that reduces the number of units. Meanwhile, several stakeholders, including city officials, property owners, developers, nonprofits and advocates are working on a more permanent solution.