CHA, partners break ground on one of the first-ever co-located senior living and supportive housing developments in Illinois

Jan 23, 2020

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

CHICAGO (Jan. 23, 2020) – CHA joined City of Chicago, HUD and its partners Evergreen Real Estate Group, Synergy Construction Group and Illinois Housing Development Authority Thursday for a groundbreaking of Ravenswood Senior Living, a project that will convert the former Ravenswood Hospital – which has been vacant since 2002 – into an innovative affordable housing development at 4515 N. Winchester in the Ravenswood neighborhood.

On hand were City of Chicago Deputy Mayor of Neighborhood and Economic Development Samir Mayekar, HUD Deputy Administrator James Cunningham and 47th Ward Ald. Matt Martin.

Located between Damen and Ravenswood avenues, the 10-story building will bring 193 affordable rental units to the strong North Side neighborhood, including 74 one-bedroom units for CHA residents and 119 units for seniors through the Illinois Supportive Living Program that is administered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

The development offers a continuum of care that provides seniors with independent living options as well as supportive living through the state’s Supportive Living Program.

 The state of Illinois developed the Supportive Living Program as an alternative to nursing home care for low-income older persons and those with physical disabilities. By offering personal care and other services, residents can live independently and take part in decision-making that is vital to their well being and helps shape future needs. The program is designed to enable independent seniors to transition directly to the supportive living facility when the need for supportive living services arises.

The two communities will be located in the same building, but will have separate entrances and operate independently of one another.

Construction is expected to be completed in Summer 2021.

“Thanks to our innovative approach to neighborhood development, we will be providing Chicago’s seniors nearly 200 new affordable housing units, giving our eldest residents the dignity and respect they deserve as the enjoy their golden years,” Mayekar said. “With new supportive housing available in Ravenswood, we are only just getting started in our efforts to expand access to affordable housing citywide and improve quality of life for residents of all ages, regardless of zip code or income level."

CHA Acting CEO James L. Bebley said: “This development illustrates CHA’s creative approach to expanding affordable housing. It offers a unique combination of independent living and supportive living for low-income seniors, but also is one of the first in the nation. And it is an example of CHA’s commitment to build strong, vibrant communities throughout Chicago.”

Jeff Rappin, founder and chairman of Evergreen Real Estate Groupo, said: “Evergreen is proud to partner with the CHA to create this new affordable housing option for some of Chicago’s most vulnerable residents, Ravenswood Senior Living will provide a full spectrum of housing options in a single location, making it possible for CHA residents to transition into a new, yet familiar, home if and when they require assistance with daily needs and healthcare. We look forward to revitalizing this landmark structure and bringing this new model for the future of senior living to life.”

IHDA Executive Director Kristin Faust said: “This groundbreaking was made possible by a public-private partnership that has been working for years to help residents age in place as their housing needs change. This investment supports a continuum of healthy housing options for Chicago seniors, and we look forward to seeing this innovative development bring new opportunities for affordable and supporting living to the community.”

Rosanna Marquez, Volunteer State President for AARP Illinois, said: "In a survey before the Chicago mayoral race last year, our 250,000 members in the city told us that the lack of affordable housing is one of their most pressing concerns. "AARP Illinois congratulates Mayor Lightfoot and city leaders for addressing this concern with this exciting new development. Ravenswood Senior Living will offer a safe, secure, affordable and appropriate housing option that will enhance personal independence and allow residents to age in place in the homes they love."

Marquez, who is also the former regional director of HUD under the Clinton Administration, added: "AARP Illinois looks forward to working with city leaders to encourage more developments like these, which foster residents' engagement in the community's civic, economic, and social life."

The project is part of CHA’s overall strategy to build, acquire and rehab housing so that people have access to opportunities across Chicago.

The two communities will be located in the same building, but will have separate entrances and operate independently of one another.

Applicants for the independent living senior units will be drawn from the CHA wait list and CHA seniors will have a leasing priority for the supportive living facility units.  

Evergreen Real Estate Group, Synergy Construction Group, and CHA are the owners and managers of the Ravenswood Development.  This unique public/private partnership offers much-needed senior housing and supportive services for Chicago seniors.