Affordable Housing to Expand in Pilsen, Little Village, and Back of the Yards Communities

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local Health

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local Health

By: Ashmar Mandou

Fourteen apartment buildings with 155 units, scattered across four wards and three communities, will be rehabbed and preserved as affordable by The Resurrection Project (TRP) through financial measures introduced on Wednesday at the City Council meeting. The buildings, known collectively as Casa Veracruz Apartments, are in Pilsen, Little Village and Back of the Yards communities and parts of four wards – 15, 22, 24 and 25. The units range from studios to four-bedrooms. The sprawling preservation project will cost approximately $28.7 million.

The buildings were built or rehabbed between 1997 and the late 2000s to provide low- and moderate-income housing for households earning 60 percent Area Median Income (AMI) or below. Sixty-four percent of the buildings are in Pilsen, where housing affordability, gentrification and displacement of longtime residents are major issues.
The Casa Veracruz Apartments include vintage walkups, former industrial buildings adapted to residential and a mixed-use building that features TRP’s offices on the ground floor and residential units above. Residents will have access to TRP’s in-house services, including educational programs, workforce readiness and multiple healthcare and childcare centers.

The Resurrection Project is a faith-based, community development organization founded in 1990 by a coalition of churches and concerned residents of Pilsen who began meeting to discuss the some of the challenges facing their community – abandoned buildings, poor schools, violence and affordable housing. City support for the project includes up to $15 million in tax-exempt bonds, up to $997,059 in 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, the restructuring of $7.7 million in Department of Housing (DOH) loans and the issuance of $7.4 in new DOH Multi-Family loan funds.

Seventy-eight of the units will be covered by a Section-8, project-based contract and all 155 units will be affordable to households at or below 60 percent AMI.

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