Presbyterian Homes Project Wins ULI Vision Award: Affordable Housing Preserved on Chicago’s North Side

An underdog walked away with a prestigious 2017 Vision Award at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Chicago’s 6th Annual Vision Awards on May 31st.

The ULI Chicago Vision Awards highlight creative developments and partnerships that have contributed to the growth of vibrant communities.

The Preservation Compact and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) accepted the award. The Compact coordinated efforts with developers, elected officials, and government agencies to preserve the affordability of three buildings in thriving Lakeview and West Ridge, and the CHA saved the day when it directly purchased these buildings, which contain 111 units, from Presbyterian Homes.

In the fall of 2015, it looked like these three affordable senior properties were about to be lost – and 111 elderly households displaced – when Presbyterian Homes announced plans to sell to market-rate developers. The Preservation Compact worked closely with a number of partners to convince the owner that an affordable proposal could work, and identified resources to preserve the affordable housing.

“This shows the power of partnerships. CHA, community groups, and elected officials came together to preserve affordability in otherwise expensive neighborhoods,” said Stacie Young, Director of The Preservation Compact.

ULI award.steinbuck,cappelman,youngAfter much involvement from neighborhood groups, public officials and developers, CHA stepped up to buy the buildings directly and add them to its stock of public housing in areas that are otherwise not affordable to low-income residents.

“We appreciate the opportunity to work with The Preservation Compact and to preserve and create affordable housing throughout Chicago,” said CHA CEO Eugene Jones, Jr.

Key political support was provided by U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, Alderman Tom Tunney, Alderman James Cappelman, Alderman Debra Silverstein, State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. ONE Northside and Jane Addams Senior Caucus organized tenants and generated public support for preserving the housing. Presbyterian Homes also followed through on its commitment to give an affordable buyer the opportunity to make an offer.