Affordable Housing in Avondale

Half Letter Press

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Public Collectors publication #80 is a small collection of Chicago neighborhood photos (half of the booklet) and a collage of writing (the other half). Some publications are best experienced in a single session, without too many teaser photos from various scattered points in the booklet, so this listing is limited to scans of the front and back cover and one extra page. Here's the back cover text:

This booklet is a meditation on the rapid transformation of my neighborhood in Chicago, as home prices and property taxes skyrocket and truly affordable housing becomes increasingly scarce. As I type this, a 100+ year old building next to my house that once provided subsidized housing for many low-income people, is a month from being torn down to build single family homes. I and others fought against this, which bought the current tenants time, but the building is still going to go, as are the people. The property’s new owners assured me that my wife and I will love the expensive new houses they are going to build. They’ll add great value to our home, they tell us. We bought our house to live in, however. Our neighbors, who predate our arrival here in 2012 by over a decade, can’t afford to stay in Avondale and are being evicted. My photos in this booklet­of discarded dollhouses, toy houses, and possibly a house for feral cats—were taken in alleys in my neighborhood in 2022 and 2023. The writing inside is a collage of sales pitches and exaggerated claims from the websites of numerous real estate agents and firms that are currently operating in Avondale. 

— Marc Fischer / Public Collectors  
Dimensions: 6 in x 8.25", 16 pages
Materials: Softcover book, staplebound

Half Letter Press

Half Letter Press is a publishing imprint and online store initiated by Temporary Services—Brett Bloom & Marc Fischer, who have published booklets as an element of their collaborative work since 1998. Half Letter Press was created to publish and distribute book and booklet length works by themselves and others, and to use this endeavor to build long-term support and expanded audiences for people that work creatively in experimental ways.