A front-page story in the Chicago Tribune about housing for immigrants discusses the challenges facing housing providers and their response to the situation. Referring to the “June 11 discussion … hosted by the Neighborhood Building Owners Alliance and the Latino Real Estate Investors Council,” it quotes Rafael Leon, executive director of Chicago Metropolitan Housing Development Corp.
“So far, we haven’t had any problems,” Leon said. “Sometimes people are afraid of immigrants, but I am an immigrant myself; people don’t need to be afraid of immigrants. Sometimes you need to take a risk and help people at a disadvantage.”
Long-time NBOA leader Steve Shah pointed out that “as a smaller housing provider, he can face high risks, since there’s no guarantee the tenant will be able to pay once the rental assistance runs out. That could lead to a lengthy eviction process, which would be costly, he said.”
The story also quotes Jacquelina Jablonski, co-owner of I&J Good Rentals LLC, and a leader of the NBOA’s newest affiliate, the Southwest Side Housing Providers. “I am Hispanic … and I don’t want to hold judgment onto my people,” Jablonski said. “I want to help out my community; I want them to make money; I want them to be able to afford the rent.”