Sweet Home Chicago is celebrating! The first apartment building to be rehabbed with city grant assistance from the TIF Purchase-Rehab program is being leased in the Lawndale neighborhood to low-income households.
Available for implementation since mid-2012, the TIF Purchase-Rehab Program has so far allocated $1 million in each of four tax-increment financing (TIF) districts. The city’s five-year housing plan adopted last February commits $7 million a year ($35 million total) to the TIF Purchase-Rehab Program.
Sweet Home Chicago, a 10-member coalition managed by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, proposed that Chicago start its TIF Purchase-Rehab program. Our coalition continues to advocate the city’s funding commitments to restore foreclosed and vacant apartment buildings into affordable housing.
The newly completed Lawndale apartment building is the first of two funded by a $1 million allocation in the Odgen/Pulaski TIF district. The allocation will restore 35 apartments in two buildings.
Housing developer Pangea completed its rehab of the 26-unit building at 18th Street and South Komensky, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in mid-September. For a $650,000 TIF grant, half of the building’s apartments are designated for low-wage households that earn half or less of Chicago’s Area Median Income ($37,700/year for a family of 4, for example).
With half the units already leased, 13 one-bedroom apartments remain available for rent of about $675 a month.
Also in the Ogden/Pulaski district, a 9-unit apartment building at 16th Street and South Sawyer Avenue will be completed this fall.
Three other TIF districts have $1 million designated for the rehab program: Humboldt Park, Chicago/ Central Park, and Division and Homan. Projects in these districts will be awarded by the Community Investment Corporation.
Sweet Home Chicago coalition members are Action NOW, Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Bickerdike Redevelopment, CCH, Community Renewal Society, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), Organization of the NorthEast (ONE Northside), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois/Indiana, and Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP).
– Eithne McMenamin & Anne Bowhay