Study: Obama Center making neighborhoods too expensive

CHICAGO - The yet-to-be constructed Obama Center in Chicago is already having an effect on property values and the rent being charged nearby residents.

Former President Barack Obama plans to build the $500 million center in Jackson Park on the South Side.

Janet Smith of the University of Illinois-Chicago says the study found ``clear evidence'' in the Woodlawn and South Shore neighborhoods of rising rents in newly renovated and new construction units that most current low income, black residents can't afford .

The alderman representing the area said Thursday an ordinance protecting affordable housing is needed.

Obama has in the past come out against a community benefits agreement that would set aside 30 percent of new housing as affordable within two miles of the presidential center site. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been noncommittal about a proposed ordinance codifying such an agreement.

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