Study: Obama Center making Chicago neighborhoods too expensive

The yet-to-be constructed Obama Presidential Center in Chicago is already having an effect on property values and the rent being charged to nearby residents.

Former President Barack Obama plans to build the $500 million center in Jackson Park on the South Side.

Janet Smith of the University of Illinois-Chicago says the study found "clear evidence" in the Woodlawn and South Shore neighborhoods of rising rents in newly renovated and new construction units that most current low income, black residents can't afford.

The alderman representing the area said Thursday an ordinance protecting affordable housing is needed.

Obama has in the past come out against a community benefits agreement that would set aside 30 percent of new housing as affordable within two miles of the presidential center site. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been noncommittal about a proposed ordinance codifying such an agreement.