City Investing $1 Billion in Affordable Housing Projects

Chicago is investing $1 billion in affordable housing all over the city which includes spending on new construction, preservation of existing units and reusing spaces like one project in Englewood that’s repurposing an empty Chicago Public Schools building into housing with wraparound services.

“We envision a city where every resident, no matter age, income, identity, ability, have the opportunities and the resources to lead comfortable lives in the communities they call home,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday.

The funding comes from federal low-income housing tax credits, money carved out in the “Chicago Recovery Plan“ approved by City Council, and other sources according to Marisa Novara, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Housing.  

The project in Englewood where a former CPS school is being redeveloped is led by Go Green Racine, a collective of Englewood organizations.  

“This housing project will include health care services, workforce development and job placement, as well as other kind of wraparound services for those types of citizens to have a successful life,” said Cecile DeMello, executive director of Teamwork Englewood on “Chicago Tonight.”

Another project is centered on affordable housing for Chicago’s Native American community, and it has 45 units that are 100% affordable.  

“It’s 50 years in the making to have an affordable housing project for Chicago’s Native American community,” said Shelly Tucciarelli, president and executive director at Visionary Ventures Corporation.  

“We’ve found that three-fifths of Chicago’s Native American community are renters and half of those are rent burdened,” she added. 

Novara announced 24 developments that create or retain 2,175 affordable housing units, including 684 family-sized units.  There were 51 proposals.

All 24 developments will have Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) participation, according to city officials. Of these affordable housing projects, 75% are near transit, 67% are on the South and West sides, and 10 of the 24 developments are BIPOC-led.

The city also bought a six-acre site in Pilsen for $12 million, which Novara said could accommodate 280 affordable homes to keep residents in the quickly gentrifying neighborhood.  

“The proposals will now move forward with project underwriting, design review, zoning approvals, and City Council approvals for any public subsidy. Closing on these projects is anticipated within the next eight to eighteen months,” the city’s Housing Department officials said in a statement. 

via WTTW News

December 7, 2021 at 10:58PM

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