Humboldt Park Health looks toward affordable housing

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The facility will increase access to preventative care and early interventions for the predominantly Latino community, which in turn greatly reduce hospitalizations and lower medical costs, Pritzker’s office said in a statement.

Sanchez said the center is fully funded with the $19 million in state construction funds, $2.5 million in Chicago recovery grants, another $1.3 million from local state representatives’ discretionary funding and the health system’s own funds.  

Sanchez said the center will include rehabilitation and sports medicine services and will also include an indoor track, community wellness spaces and a swimming pool that will meet the needs of Chicago Public Schools.

The wellness center is part of a larger strategic plan for the newly rebranded safety net hospital, formerly Norwegian American Hospital. 

Next on Sanchez’s list is the goal of creating 300 affordable housing units in the neighborhood.

Sanchez said he was meeting today with Chicago Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara with a preliminary plan for the first 100 units of housing. 

Humboldt Park Health, which employs nearly 1,000 people in the community, also owns about 59% of the available land in the area bounded by the streets of Division, California, Augusta and Sacramento, including empty parcels and buildings that the system is not using, Sanchez said.

"We own the land, we could put up the land in partnership with a developer, to build affordable housing with financial support from the federal and state governments," Sanchez said.

He said that the idea was looked upon favorably in a meeting with HUD, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. 

"We have a lot of political capital," Sanchez said, pointing to support from local politicians including Ald. Roberto Maldonado, 26th, state Sen. Omar Aquino and state Rep. Delia Ramirez.  

"Housing is a critical component of the social determinants of health," he said. "We’ve got people living in spaces where they have no room. Five and six people living in two-bedroom apartments."

In an emailed statement, the Chicago Department of Housing said its mission is to expand access and choice for residents throughout the city.

"Last December, the city announced its largest investment in affordable housing, $1 billion in 24 developments in 20 different communities, thanks in part to the Chicago Recovery Plan," the statement said. "The 24 selected developments were more than double the number of developments selected during the 2019 round. One of the awardees selected to move to the next stage is Boulevard Apartments, which will preserve 70 affordable units in three developments in Humboldt Park. We look forward to discussing the proposed development and will continue to work with community partners on ways we can expand housing choice and access for all residents."

via Crain’s Chicago Business

June 8, 2022 at 06:59AM

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