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featured innovator

John Bartlett

Metropolitan Tenants Organization

Chicago, Illinois

Black Community Re-investment Initiative (BCRI)

Summary

BCRI focuses on improving the health, safety and stability of a majority of rental homes in Black communities by creating a proactive inspection and increasing resources for small property owners.

Description

The core premise of BCRI starts with a focus on the primary place residents of Chicago’s Black Community call home, rental housing. (In the Chicago area, over 60 percent of Black households rent.) Over a 10-year period, BCRI will raise the housing standards throughout Chicago’s Black Community through a system of proactive inspections followed by required repairs. BCRI will put together a registry of local community based contractors who can make repairs and thus provide jobs to community residents that can lead to further community revitalization. BCRI will create a community advisory board to evaluate and turn the pilot project into a citywide initiative. Associated benefits include improved winterization, which will reduce utility costs, better health such as reduced asthma and lead poisoning, improved relationships between property owners and renters as undone repairs are one of the largest sources of conflict, and finally, increased housing stability for renters.

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