(CHICAGO) – Plans for the Midwest’s first LGBT-friendly, affordable senior housing facility moved another step forward today, as the Chicago City Council passed legislation to provide a land transfer and city funding for the project.
“The assistance is designed to provide important housing options for Lake View seniors as well as preserve one of the community’s most prominent and iconic buildings,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.
The 79-unit, affordable housing senior building will be developed on the corner of Halsted and Addison streets, and includes the historic 23rd District Town Hall police station. Today’s legislation authorizes the City to transfer ownership to Heartland Housing and Center on Halsted, the property’s developers. It also authorizes the City to lend up to $5,000,000 in HOME dollars to the project. Complete City financing will also include allocations of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits.
“This is an excellent example of how the City, local residents and non-profit groups can work together to create something special,” said 44th ward Alderman Tom Tunney. “On behalf of everyone in the 44th ward, I thank my colleagues for their support of this much needed project.”
The new development will preserve a portion of the old police station building while creating a new building with commercial space on the ground level that will benefit from and complement the busy Addison/Halsted commercial corridor. The units will be available to all seniors in need of affordable housing, regardless of their sexual orientation.
“Safe, decent, affordable housing is a critical issue for seniors in the city,” said Michael Goldberg, Executive Director of Heartland Housing, a division of Heartland Alliance, the Midwest’s leading anti-poverty organization. “Many seniors, including many within the LGBT community, live on fixed incomes and cannot afford high rents. This building will allow seniors to continue to live and thrive in the community they helped create.”
Center on Halsted, which is located adjacent to the development site, will offer resident and community-based services for seniors who will live in the new-construction building, as well as expanding its existing program for LGBTQ seniors.
“We want to make sure our seniors can continue to be a part of the community,” said Modesto Tico Valle, CEO of the Center on Halsted. ”At the same time, we want to make sure they have a safe, affordable place to live.”
Heartland Housing and Center on Halsted hope to begin construction in April. Developers will begin taking applications for residency next spring.
“We expect a lot of interest,” said Goldberg. “It’s going to be a beautiful, vibrant building that will enhance a beautiful, vibrant neighborhood.”
Heartland Alliance is the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest and believes that all of us deserve the opportunity to improve our lives. Each year, we help ensure this opportunity for more than one million people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. Our policy efforts strengthen communities; our comprehensive services empower those we serve to rebuild and transform their lives. For more information, visit www.heartlandalliance.org.
Center on Halsted is the Midwest’s most comprehensive community center dedicated to advancing and securing the health and wellbeing of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community. More than 1,000 community members visit the Center every day, located in the heart of Chicago’s Lake View Neighborhood. For more information, visit: http://www.centeronhalsted.org.