Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s latest attempt to get Chicago police officers and firefighters to spread out into the city’s struggling neighborhoods has yet to draw much interest.
Six months after the mayor dangled a monetary carrot to try to get public safety professionals to purchase homes in high-crime parts of the South and West sides, just two police officers have taken advantage, according to the city Department of Planning and Development. And both closed on houses in the South Side Chatham neighborhood that’s already known as a favorite landing spot for first responders and other city workers, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Emanuel’s program offers $30,000 loans to police officers and firefighters to buy a home in certain more violent areas of the city. If they stay for at least 10 years, they don’t have to pay the city back. It’s an idea employed by former Mayor Richard M. Daley in previous decades that Emanuel restarted last year.
Because of the low participation so far, some aldermen are suggesting changes. But the mayor’s administration wants to see if the program gains steam as the weather warms up and more young officers enter the homebuying market.