September 20, 2016 02:25 PM

Office of Communications -- Chicago Housing Authority
Molly Sullivan 312-786-3344

The Board of Commissioners of the Chicago Housing Authority today approved support for a number of developments that will expand housing opportunities, showing the agency’s commitment to providing more housing options for low-income and formerly homeless individuals.

“Our support for these projects underscores our commitment to finding new ways to provide housing choices for some of the most vulnerable residents in Chicago,” said CHA CEO Eugene Jones, Jr. “We continue to work with our development partners, stakeholders and aldermen to identify ways to expand housing access and opportunity and I am grateful that our board has shown strong support for our efforts.”

Among the actions approved today was the acquisition from Chicago Public Schools of Nathaniel Pope School, a former CPS facility at 1852 S. Albany Ave. in the North Lawndale community that will be rehabbed for accessible housing for the disabled, a new regional satellite office for the CHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program and community space. The board also approved the appointment of Koo, LLC as the architecture firm that will perform the architectural and design work that will guide the renovations to the former school.

The board also approved providing project-based rental assistance for 39 units at The Carling Hotel, 1512 N. LaSalle St. in the Near North Side community that will be part of the renovation and modernization of the former Single Room Occupancy (SRO) hotel that will ensure the long-term affordability for CHA-supported units on the North Side.

Additionally, the board approved project-based rental assistance for the Rebecca Johnson Apartments at 2822 W. Jackson Blvd., in the East Garfield Park community. The owner of the property, Deborah’s Place, is a non-profit agency that provides housing and supportive services to formerly homeless women as they work to rebuild their lives. CHA’s support will ensure long term affordability for the units, preserving them for some of the city’s most vulnerable residents. This rental assistance is provided under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program that enables public housing authorities to provide long-term rental assistance for low-income residents and assist property owners to leverage private financing to fund capital repairs.

In other actions, the CHA board:

  • Approved a master planning agreement with Gensler to study future development opportunities and needs for 47 acres of CHA-owned land that is part of the greater Oakwood Shores community that will help continue the redevelopment of the former Ida B. Wells/Clarence Darrow/Madden Park Homes in Bronzeville. This is part of the CHA’s ongoing support for this community that has included the first phases of housing and more recently, investments in community assets such as the Arts and Recreation Center at Ellis Park and the soon to open Mariano’s. Gensler has previously provided planning services for a number of CHA developments.
  • Approved a long-term lease agreement with the National Public Housing Museum. Under the terms of the 50-year lease, CHA will lease just over half of the building near the intersection of Taylor and Loomis streets, once part of the former Jane Addams Homes, to the museum for $1 a year so that the museum can renovate the building to honor the legacy and role of public housing in Chicago and the country. It is expected that construction will begin in the Fall of 2017, with the museum set to open in late 2018. As part of the lease agreement, the museum will pay for much of the exterior work and all of the interior build-out of the space for the future museum.
  • Approved a contract with Public Consulting Group, a 30-year-old government management consulting firm, for $225,172 to perform a comprehensive analysis of the Housing Choice Voucher program, with a report due to CHA in early 2017.