Wilson Men's Hotel Tenants Deserve to Stay #IndoorsInUptown

Dear Andy Ahitow, Daniel Zivin, & Elliot Offenbach,

Your purchase of the Wilson Men's Hotel 250-unit Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Hotel in Uptown comes with obligations to the Northside community.

SROs are one of the few sources of naturally occurring affordable housing in our city, especially on the Northside. They are a critical resource for low wage workers, veterans, people with disabilities, the formerly homeless, and seniors.

Your plans for the building displace all the current residents and take away at least 230 units of affordable housing in Uptown. This immediately threatens them with homelessness, and is a terrible blow to Uptown, one of the few diverse neighborhoods in Chicago, which is otherwise one of the most segregated cities in the US.

It didn't have to happen this way. Non-profit developers were pursuing a deal with the former owner to purchase, rehab, and preserve it as 100% affordable housing, but you intervened.

You must make a binding commitment that guarantees all tenants to the right to remain in affordable, long term housing on the Northside.  

You have said you "are dedicated to collaborating with ONE Northside and current tenant associations to create a desirable, effective and safe relocation plan for current residents" and "look forward to working with our neighbors and residents every step of the way". Your relocation process looks good, and you said that tenants who are cooperating with it won't be evicted without replacement housing. However, without a binding commitment it doesn't guarantee tenants will be rehoused in the Northside, or anywhere for that matter. 

If you're serious, listen to tenants. When they talk about staying Indoors in Uptown they are talking about the lives they built here, and the places, relationships, and networks that keep them alive. Don’t force them out!

May ONE Northside send you occasional updates via text? If so, please provide the best number to reach you.