With the aid of a $30.5 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) is making transformative changes in Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood on the South Side.
POAH is in the middle of a multiyear revitalization effort for the troubled, 504-unit, Sec. 8–assisted Grove Parc Plaza Apartments, built in the late 1960s.
The nonprofit has completed three phases of neighborhood revitalization over the past three years and 100 new, mixed-income units replacing three blocks of Grove Parc Plaza. Seniors housing, a market-rate apartment community, and a hotel are in the works.
The second new construction phase, The Grant at Woodlawn Park, was completed in September 2013. The 33-unit project serves families earning 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income and includes four market-rate units.
“It feels dramatically different already,” says Bill Eager, POAH’s vice president for the Chicago area. “It was a fairly unwelcoming place. One of the things we’ve tried to do with the design is to make the street more pedestrian friendly with more light.”
The $13.4 million second phase was financed with low-income housing tax credit equity invested by Citi Community Capital and syndicated by The Richman Group Affordable Housing Corp. as well as permanent and construction loans from Citibank. The city of Chicago provided a HOME loan.