* The Trib has a good story about the hollowing out of Chicago’s Austin neighborhood…
Home to nearly 118,000 people in 2000, Austin has seen its population drop to 97,600, according to an average of census data collected between 2011 and 2015. It has been overtaken by the North Side’s Lakeview neighborhood, whose population has remained steady since the 1980s and currently has about 98,200 residents.
Chicago’s violence is at its highest since the drug wars of the 1990s, and Austin is center stage to many of the shootings and homicides: As of July 13, there were 258 shootings in the area in 2017 and 44 homicides, according to Tribune data. More than 1,900 people have been shot in Chicago so far this year.
The city as a whole is losing residents, and Chicago last year was the only city of the country’s 10 largest to lose population. Residents who’ve packed up and left Chicago have cited a variety of reasons — high taxes, the state budget stalemate and the weather.
Those in Austin have a different list of concerns. More than 30 percent live in poverty. Storefronts are shuttered, and grocery stores are few and far between. The neighborhood high schools that remain open are under-resourced.
But in a neighborhood where retaliatory shootings mean unending violence, many residents say safety is the biggest issue. […]
(M)oving isn’t always easy. Some people are trapped in the neighborhood by their subprime mortgages; others can’t leave because no one wants to buy a house on a block saturated with gun violence.
Go read the whole thing. [Fixed link.]