Dialogues for Every Community


Everyone Deserves the Chance to Live in a Great Community

FREE REGISTRATION November 18th, 2021 6:30 pm Blues Lounge; 7:00 pm Program; 7:30pm Zoom Dialogues


Whether your community is low income and high needs, actively reinvesting, or high income and high cost — market forces over decades have been working against sustainable diversity for people of all races, incomes and circumstances. Affordable housing developments in cities like Chicago significantly benefit low-income residents, mostly people of color, and over time, these developments can actually be the diversity in changing communities. 

However, beyond the bounds of mortgage and compliance terms, resources for continuing affordability are scarce, and pressures are relentless to sell property at market rates. Housing providers are in constant search for higher revenues, lower costs, and remedies for property management and compliance challenges.

Social service and economic opportunity program providers can enhance housing stability of low income and working class tenants, but they cannot stop property sales that fuel gentrification and displacement that export their client base.

For an organization like Voice of the People in Uptown, 50 years passed quickly. We have witnessed the kind of both gradual and dramatic changes that tear at the fabric of a diverse community, which is what most people say they want and appreciate.  So, in a community that is actively “reinvesting”, where there are still numerous affordable housing developments remaining, and some “Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing” hanging on by a thread, curious questions remain for Uptown and other Chicago communities.


1. Game Changing Organizing For decades, affordable housing has been a contested issue in Uptown. Tom Lenz, Mike Loftin, and Josh Hoyt each played roles in those organizing struggles. What can we learn from the past – and what promising new housing organizing is happening in Chicago and elsewhere? Join the conversation.

2.      Risk Taking Lessons in Community Development What are examples of “risky” initiatives and methods used in affordable housing and community development projects, and could they inform better strategies and programming going forward? Our resource people have had to approve, fund, invest, champion, and go out on a limb for hundreds of affordable housing and community developments.  Calvin Holmes and Kristin Faust will share stories about some of these initiatives that could inform our future work. Share your risk-taking success.

3.       Planning/Interventions for Sustainable Diversity Can we actually know “‘What Works’ to promote inclusive, equitable and mixed-income communities”. Are there ways affordability can be “locked in”, regardless of what kind of community you are in, or what stage of needs and costs there are?  Meet the Author/Co-Editor and authority on “what works”, a leader fighting for a place for low-income people on the near northside as well as Voice and representatives of community land trusts. Dr. Amy T Khare, Michele Dreczynski of the Near North Unity Program and Mike Rohrbeck, Voice of the People. Can we get to the next level in Chicago?

Zoom Dialogue Sessions will be saved to Voice of the People’s Youtube Channel. Subcribe and get access to testimonials, Uptown videos, Sweet Home Uptown highlights, Voice’s “home themed” Blues Music playlist, with classics like “Ain’t Got No Home” and an amazing live version of Sweet Home Chicago featuring Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy and more.