Voice of the People began in 1968 as a protest against the displacement of 500 families. Voice of the People was able to find new homes for 250 of these families, and in the process began its career as a housing developer by developing, rehabilitating, and managing its own buildings. Historically. Voice of the People was involved in a number of real estate ventures including cooperatives, receiverships, obtaining donated properties, new construction, working with investment partners and tenant associations.
For 40 years, Voice of the People has worked for and with low-income individuals and families in Uptown to create quality affordable housing, to protest displacement of families by higher priced housing, and to speak out for improved community services.
Since March 2004, Voice of the People has primarily focused on preserving our existing portfolio that currently includes 192 units of housing. With changes in Chicago public housing with the gentrification of neighborhoods like Uptown, Voice of the People is one of the few organizations addressing the growing lack of affordable housing in this area. Voice of the People is committed to preservation of low-income housing units for the long-term to maintain diversity of economic, ethnic and cultural cohesiveness in our evolving communities. Voice of the People preservation compact entails working with a new for-profit partner, Chicago Community Development Corporation (CCDC) to acquire and restructure the financing in order to prolong the usage restriction for affordable housing over the next 20 years. To date Voice of the People and its affiliate not-for-profit entities and CCDC have successfully preserved the Uptown Preservation Apartments.