Chicago Housing Development to be Revitalized

September 06, 2011

The city has received $30.5 million in federal funding to bring new housing to a distressed south side Chicago real estate community.

With the money, the city of Chicago and the Preservation of Affordable Housing Inc. (POAH), a non-profit housing developer, will redevelop Grove Parc Plaza Apartments, a 504-unit HUD-assisted housing development built in the 1960s on a 12-acre site in the Woodlawn neighborhood.

A section of Grove Parc Plaza

Grove Parc Plaza, located along Cottage Grove between 61st and 63rd Streets, was threatened with foreclosure in 2007 due to poor conditions, including vacant homes and lots, poor schools, high unemployment, crime and lack of access to needed services.

Its residents contacted POAH, which formed a partnership with the city of Chicago, the Jane Adams Hull House, the University of Chicago, LISC Chicago, and other community partners, to redevelop Grove Parc Plaza and revitalize the surrounding Woodlawn neighborhood.

Through the redevelopment project, the original affordable units will be replaced and new ones will be developed for a total of 965 market-rate and affordable housing units.

The proposed Woodlawn Park

The proposed new neighborhood

A wide range of neighborhood services and investments will also be implemented, including a walkable street scape, retail shops, a community resource center, better access to quality educational opportunities for children and support services for residents like job training.

The project will also create jobs during the development period and permanently thereafter.

“I am committed to protecting and investing in Chicago’s communities,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This important program will create safe and affordable housing for hard-working families in Woodlawn and will have lasting impact on our neighborhoods.”

The $30.5 million is coming from an Implementation Grant awarded under HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, a new program designed to help transform high-poverty, distressed neighborhoods into communities with healthy, affordable housing, safe streets and access to quality educational opportunities.

Chicago is one of only five cities throughout the nation to receive one of the first-ever grants. Our city, along with Boston, New Orleans, San Francisco and Seattle, received a total of $122 million through the program.

“This is a great day for Chicago and the countless families who will benefit from the transformation this funding will bring to the south side,” said U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan, who announced the grant award alongside Mayor Emanuel in Chicago.

“Choice Neighborhoods recognizes that we must link affordable housing with quality schools, public transportation, good jobs and safe streets. This is the next generation of neighborhood revitalization that not only transforms distressed housing, but heals entire communities.”

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[…] Then there’s the case of the Grove Parc redevelopment with the non-profit group Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) as the lead developer. […]

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