This week, LUCHA stood in solidarity with tenants of 2815-21 W. Division Street who are facing displacement from their affordable apartments if their landlord refuses to renew the building’s Section 8 contract or sell the building to an affordable housing developer who would renew the contract. Tenants are organizing within their legal rights to purchase the building in partnership with a like-minded developer in the hopes of preserving affordability and keeping families in place.
The fears of displacement and losing community connections are rampant across the City of Chicago given the affordable housing crisis — but we are HERE TO STAY! Join us in celebrating the heroes of this moment, but don’t forget to do your part to keep these families in their homes. Call the property manager at 773-447-2122 and insist that this building stay affordable. #NoNosVamos #HereToStay
In a historic moment, LUCHA hosted another successful PlayStreets event on August 10th – which also happened to be the first community block event on the 1100 block of North Christiana Avenue in over 20 years! We brought out over 150 LUCHA residents and neighbors, who came together over fresh BBQ and an intergenerational basketball game. We also hosted several partners – including Chicago Public Schools (CPS), Huntington Bank and YWCA – who provided free financial and social service resources (and stuck around for all of the fun!). Above all, we are overjoyed to witness the growing connections among residents with each passing PlayStreets season. Given the historic lack of community engagement on Christiana Avenue, we are honored to have gathered so many neighbors in support of a healthier and more connected block.
The fun isn’t over just yet! With just one PlayStreets event remaining in the 2019 season, don’t miss out on what we have in store for September 14th!
On August 10th, 4th District State Representative Delia Ramirez hosted the Housing For All Fair, a community event with an accessible platform for residents to learn more about available housing options in the area, apply for affordable housing, become informed of tenants’ rights, explore options for homebuyer education, and seek recommendations for property tax appeals. Staff from LUCHA’s esteemed Community Law Program and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-certified Housing Opportunities Program joined in to provide free legal consultations and resources for homebuyer education.
Thank you to Rep. Ramirez for organizing, to all of our community partners who participated in the Fair, and to all who attended! We are grateful to be a part of such a dedicated network of housing advocates who invest in the success of every resident.
LUCHA is excited to announce our continued partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) through its Choose To Own (CTO) Homeownership Program. The program assists public housing and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) tenants in the transition to affordable and sustainable homeownership by applying voucher assistance to a mortgage instead of rent. In addition to financial assistance toward housing costs, the program refers clients to providers such as LUCHA who offer quality, bilingual pre- and post-purchase homebuyer education, credit counseling, legal representation for closing, and other services to guide renters through the homebuying process.
Most recently, LUCHA assisted 30 first-time homebuyers in preparing for purchase and closing on their properties through the CTO Program. With this extended support, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to help more of our neighbors begin building generational wealth in their new homes!
We are delighted to announce that our latest affordable housing development, Tierra Linda, is fully occupied! With 45 scattered-site affordable rental units, Tierra Linda is LUCHA’s first sustainability-oriented development which bridges affor dability with green technology for low-income residents of the City of Chicago. Located primarily along the 606 Trail, Tierra Linda represents LUCHA’s commitment to transforming neighborhoods through community development and increasing neighborhood access to people who might otherwise be displaced from Chicago’s exclusive housing market. Moreover, it is a step toward an equitable affordable ho using field which approaches development through the lens of environmental sustainability.
This week, LUCHA teamed up with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association, Center for Changing Lives, Spanish Coalition for Housing, Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation and Northwest Side Housing Center to host a trolley tour of affordable housing successes and opportunities with local officials and Commissioner Marisa Novara of the city’s Department of Housing. Touring the Northwest side of Chicago within the Humboldt Park, Logan Square, Hermosa and Belmont-Cragin neighborhoods, we highlighted the innovative achievements of affordable housing projects such as LUCHA’s Tierra Linda development and Passive House building. In addition, we imagined an equitable future with an affordable TOD housing development at the Emmett Street lot in Logan Square, which is experiencing widespread gentrification and massive displacement of legacy Latinx families who can no longer afford to live in the neighborhood they helped shape; and the Here to Stay Community Land Trust, which would organize community-owned land and maintain naturally occurring affordable housing for renters and homeowners on the Northwest side in the face of demolition and displacement.
We are honored to work alongside dedicated partners who continue to advance housing affordability and accessibility for our neighbors and proud to share our efforts with the City of Chicago in the hopes of creating a more equitable Chicago for all.
Closing out the month, LUCHA joined esteemed community service providers and excited festivalgoers for the 2019 Fiesta Del Sol in Pilsen this past weekend. As part of the Housing Resource Pavilion, we met and educated dozens of neighbors about our programs and services including comprehensive housing counseling and education for current and future homeowners. In addition to sampling all of the delicious tacos and tamales, we loved seeing everyone gather for a celebration of culture and community! If you missed us at the fest, please call us at the Housing Opportunities Center, a certified Freddie Mac Borrower Help Center, at (773) 489-8484 for more information or to make an appointment with one of our HUD-Certified housing counselors.
On July 27th, the sun was out to welcome all of our neighbors as we hosted our third PlayStreets block party of the season on the 1700 block of Drake Avenue. True to our promises, we brought the fun with a full-sized bounce house, basketball hoop, and even a sack race! Thanks to our featured partners this month for their involvement:
We are so delighted to create space for our community in fun and safe environments and look forward to the remaining PlayStreets events of the season!
In recent weeks, LUCHA has reported on the harmful potential impact of a new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which would evict thousands of mixed status parents and children from public housing, separate families, and further exacerbate the affordable housing crisis nationwide. LUCHA proudly testified to Cook County officials in opposition of this rule and in support of a proposed resolution to protect already vulnerable mixed status families from the harm of eviction and familial separation. Aligned with our mission to advance housing as a human right, we are honored to take part in the process Cook County has engaged to affirm that housing is a basic right for everyone.
Visit Keep Families Together for updates on the proposed rule, resources to take action, and more.
Please join us in congratulating LUCHA’s housing counseling team and Director of Programs for successfully completing all requirements and passing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Counseling Certification Exam! In December 2016, HUD published the Housing Counseling New Certification Requirements Final Rule, which implements statutory requirements for housing counseling required under or provided in connection with HUD programs. Effective 2020, all HUD-certified agencies must employ HUD-certified housing counselors per the certification exam.
With this achievement, LUCHA is the first HUD-approved housing counseling agency in the state of Illinois to employ 100% HUD-certified counselors. Congratulations, counselors!