Next Generation SRO Housing in Chicago
When first envisioned and constructed, single room occupancy residential hotels (SROs) met a unique need at a critical time in Chicago’s history, fulfilling a demand for housing during a population boom in the early 20th Century. Since then, SROs have evolved along with contemporary needs, and today, thousands of lower-income Chicagoans rely on SROs for housing, as the city’s hot real estate market leads to a growing scarcity of truly affordable places to live. In recent decades, however, the number of SROs has declined while the need for affordability has continued to rise, prompting policy action and community solutions to protect these properties.
Next Generation SRO Housing in Chicago offers an overview of key challenges and best practices in SRO preservation as it relates to supportive services and operations, policy and finance, as well as design and construction. The paper also includes case studies of successful SRO preservation projects that required a range of approaches, from light rehab to gut rehab and historic restoration.