black developers on the city’s investment in affordable housing | Black Voices | Chicago News

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Affordable housing developments are getting a big boost in funding.

Chicago will invest $ 1 billion in creating and sustaining 24 development projects, using federal pandemic recovery money and the mayor’s 2022 budget. The move not only aims to bring more affordable housing to the city, but also seeks to support developments led by people of color.

Read: Developers turn 12 vacant southernmost acres into new community

One of the projects on the list is in Morgan Park, where the developers are working to turn two acres of vacant land into a mixed-use development.

“This project is transformative, it is catalytic. We believe this will be a game-changer for the Far South region and that it will address the current housing need, ”said Abraham Lacy, President and CEO of the Far South Community Development Corporation, which heads the project.

The new Morgan Park Commons would consist of 390 units in total, of which 250 will be both affordable and mixed-income housing. Lacy says the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) will help with the first phase of the project of building 80 units adjacent to South Halsted Street.

“It’s really part of the question of how do we stand up for entrepreneurs of color in neighborhoods so that they can now participate in the revitalization of their own communities,” said Leon Walker, co-founder of Chicago Emerging Minority Developer Initiative, an organization that seeks to attract more developers of color to the industry: “We said and demanded, asked, begged for someone to come and build something in our community to do something new in our neighborhoods. , well now that starts the process of building capacity with the talent that already exists in the communities so that they can start executing their vision and help revitalize their own communities.

According to Mayor Lightfoot and city leaders, 10 of the 24 developments on the list are led by BIPOC, all 24 will have BIPOC participation (black, indigenous, people of color). The city conducted a Racial Equity Impact Assessment to re-examine how the city was granting the LIHTC.

“One of the reasons people get depopulated is because they can’t find affordable housing to live on, so we need more housing development,” Lacy said.

Lightfoot and city leaders call largest affordable housing investment in Chicago history


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