Preserving 1-to-4 Unit Buildings

Small rental properties—buildings with 1-to-4 units—dot neighborhoods throughout the Chicagoland area, but nearly one-third all of these units located in low-income communities have been affected by foreclosure filings.

Weak demand, restricted access to credit, and lack of financing for investors are combining to put these properties –  which make up one third of Cook County’s total rental stock – at risk.


The Preservation Compact convened a working group to evaluate the challenges facing 1-to-4 unit properties and the people who want to purchase, rehab, and rent them. Buyers of 1-to-4 unit buildings face formidable challenges.

In response, The Preservation Compact worked with its partners to create:

  • A new $26 million financing pool at Community Investment Corporation (CIC) to finance the redevelopment of groups of investor owned 1-to-4 unit buildings for affordable rental housing.
    • The 1-4 Rental Redevelopment Loan Program has approved $15.9 million in loans for 281 units of rental housing since its launch in 2014.
  • The JPMorgan Chase Foundation provided a $5 million grant for a collaboration among Community Investment Corporation, Chicago Community Loan Fund, and NHS Chicago to finance the acquisition and rehab of troubled 1-to-4s in low and moderate income communities.
    • The partners in this collaborative have provided $41 million in financing to redevelop 593 units in 1-to-4 unit buildings.
    • This work was featured in the Fall 2017 edition of Shelterforce.