Ashley Galvan Ramos grew up in Logan Square, where she and her parents and sister often walked or used public transit to get around.
But after they lost their apartment to redevelopment, high rents in the gentrifying area forced the family first into homelessness and then to a house on the city’s western edge.
Though they still use transit, they now depend more on a car to get to jobs and school and to go shopping.
“It’s a little less convenient,” said Galvan Ramos, 20.
Galvan Ramos was one of more than 300 people at a recent march to protest high rents and support a proposed 100-unit affordable housing project on Emmett Street near the Logan Square Blue Line station. Children held signs in Spanish and English saying “Rent Control Now.”
The march and the proposed development are signs of growing urgency in the fight for affordable housing in the city, particularly near transit lines, community advocates say. Losing walkable neighborhoods and easy access to transit is especially hard on low- and middle-income families since owning and maintaining one or more cars is more expensive than taking the train.
“We’re trying to keep the issue front and center with developers, with the city, with the CTA, so they understand the importance,” said Jacky Grimshaw, a former CTA board member and vice president of government affairs at the Center for Neighborhood Technology, a nonprofit focused on sustainable development.