CHA Board approves investments to preserve affordable rental housing, support new phases of Cabrini-Green redevelopment

Nov 21, 2018

Press contacts:
Office of Communications – Chicago Housing Authority
Molly Sullivan: (312) 786-3344;
Matthew Aguilar: (312) 935-2646;

CHICAGO (Nov. 21, 2018) –  The Chicago Housing Authority Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved support for developments that preserve and expand affordable rental housing, as well as a land exchange with the City of Chicago that will pave the way for a new grocery store to serve the Bronzeville community.

The Board approved resolutions that provide funding for the continued redevelopment of the Cabrini-Green area. In the first resolution, up to $23 million was approved for the final phase of the Parkside of Old Town development, which is a key component of the redevelopment of Cabrini-Green. Parkside 4, Phase 2 will include a total of 190 units – 134 mixed-income rental units – 54 for CHA residents - and 56 for-sale market rate townhome units to be developed by Holsten Real Estate Development Corp. To date, 592 mixed-income units (401 rental and 191 for-sale) have been built by Holsten as part of the developer’s work at Cabrini.

The second resolution will provide a pre-development loan not to exceed $1.5 million to Near North Cabrini, LLC to begin work on the first phase of the next development zone in Cabrini. It also will allow for demolition of the shuttered Near North High School to make way for future development work at the site near Clybourn Avenue and Larrabee Street.

Hunt Companies, Inc. was selected in 2017 as the master developer for this phase of the Cabrini revitalization which will ultimately include 482 newly constructed units, including 183 public housing units, 71 affordable, and 142 market-rate rental units, as well as 11 affordable and 75 market-rate, for-sale units. Four of the for-sale units will be reserved for CHA residents under the Choose to Own program that allows CHA voucher holders to purchase a home and convert their rent payments to a mortgage payment.

Under the first phase of the new Hunt-led work, a 21-story high rise will be built with 190 units – including 84 units for CHA residents – with the remainder of units to be affordable and market rate.

“Today’s board approvals close one piece of the Cabrini-Green redevelopment and mark the beginning of the next phase of our work as we continue to transform the historic Near North Side community and build on our previous success at creating a vibrant, mixed-income neighborhood for families,” said CHA CEO Eugene E. Jones, Jr. “Our commitment to bringing new housing and opportunities for residents to this neighborhood has never wavered.”

The board also approved long-term Project-Based Voucher (PBV) contracts that will preserve affordable rental housing at three properties ensuring long-term affordability and rent stability for some of the city’s lowest income renters:

  • 200 units at Lawson House in the Near North Side community
  • 39 units at Mae Suites in the Austin community
  • 10 units at Focus Apartments in the Austin community

Lawson House is planning a major rehabilitation to transform the units into modern studio apartments. The CHA-supported units will be made available for homeless individuals identified through the City of Chicago’s coordinated entry system and the State of Illinois’ Referral Network.   Mae Suites will also undergo rehabilitation to provide affordable housing for households that have been homeless.  

Focus House apartments will provide affordable rental housing for ex-offender applicants who satisfy CHA’s Re-Entry Housing Pilot.  The Safer Foundation will provide supportive services and property management.  Customized services will be available to residents including employment training and placement, substance abuse and medical treatment, and intensive case management.

“CHA understands that preserving the city’s rental housing stock is essential to helping low-income renters - especially ex-offenders and persons experiencing homelessness – obtain housing stability. Preservation helps keep neighborhoods affordable.  It is an essential part of CHA’s work and will continue to be a priority.”

Also approved was a land exchange under which CHA will receive a parcel of land south of Pershing Road along Federal Street from the city; and the city will receive a parcel on the north side of Pershing Road on Federal Street that will enable the city to continue its planned retail and commercial development at that location.

Plans call for a new grocery store and major retail tenants as part of the proposed development adjacent to the Park Boulevard community, the new mixed-income neighborhood created on the footprint of CHA’s former Stateway Gardens property. The new grocery store and retail development will benefit Park Boulevard residents and the surrounding community.

The land CHA will acquire through the exchange will be used to further its redevelopment efforts along the State Street corridor.

“We know that neighborhoods need more than housing to grow and thrive.   Our investment in community amenities is another example of our partnership with the City of Chicago and the Bronzeville community,” Jones said.