A battle over Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood has spotlighted the nuances around preservation. To preserve existing affordable housing and prevent displacement, the city’s Department of Planning and Development proposed turning the neighborhood into a historic district. But there’s not much data on whether designating historic districts addresses displacement, and residents—many of whom are Latinx—argued the plan wouldn’t protect their community or culture and could saddle them with additional costs to conform to district’s design standards. “The historic district could only protect the buildings, not the people,” said alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez. “That’s why the community didn’t want the district.” Di Gao, senior director of research and development at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, believes preservation should partner with community organizations. “Historic preservation has an enormous responsibility to be a force for social justice in communities,” says Gao. “There is a lot of legacy within the field where it seems like preservation was created to primarily preserve grand legacies of elite, white men,” she says.
Published by Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing
The vision of OCAH: That all Oklahomans have the opportunity to live in safe, healthy and affordable homes. Our Mission: To lead the movement to ensure that all residents of the state of Oklahoma flourish in safe, affordable homes and to help communities develop safe and affordable housing options for all of their residents. We reach our mission through advocacy, education and practical training to foster the production and maintenance of affordable housing throughout the state. View all posts by Oklahoma Coalition for Affordable Housing