Sandra Puebla, Resident Services VISTA

Sandra PueblaThe Department of Programs is pleased to welcome Sandra Puebla as our new AmeriCorps VISTA – Resident Services Associate for our Resident Services Program. As a Resident Services Associate, Sandra will work with HPR tenants and develop, implement, and evaluate educative and engaging programs around health and wellness, community gardens, and other social activities. She will help conduct monthly barbecues and help strengthen the sense of community for residents.

Sandra is a native of the Hermosa neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago. She is a rising senior at Northern Illinois University where she is majoring in Political Science and History and minoring in Latino & Latin American Studies. Spending most of her college career advocating for underrepresented communities on her college campus, she has worked for more state funding for higher education, immigration advocacy, and fair treatment of minority students on campus.

Additionally, Sandra has worked with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA), as part of their immigration team and helped provide resources on immigration rights for local business owners and their employees. Her interest in LUCHA lies in the organizations’ dedication to supporting the community she has been working with for years. As a nearby resident, Sandra has seen, first-hand, the struggles families have faced because of rising property taxes. She hopes to one day work on meaningful policy that would provide a solution to these issues.

Since 1965, over 220,000 VISTA members have served in all 50 states and U.S. Territories. AmeriCorps VISTA members are in tribal, rural, suburban, and urban communities. VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America, was conceived by President John F. Kennedy as a domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps and was started by President Lyndon B. Johnson as part of the War on Poverty. It is the national service program that works to eliminate poverty. The first VISTAs began serving in 1965, in migrant farm worker camps in California, the hollows of eastern Kentucky, and the urban neighborhoods of Hartford, CT.

Alexandra Carl, Law Project Intern

LUCHA is pleased to welcome Alexandra Carl as our Law Project Legal Intern. As the Law Project’s Legal Intern, Alexandra will work with our Law Project Manager, Ana Margarita Irizarry, to address various legal issues facing our clients, including evictions, foreclosures, and homelessness, as well as first-time home buying, real estate closings, and landlord/tenant issues.

Alexandra is a native of Carbondale, Illinois and holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Spanish from Southern Illinois University. She is a second year law student at DePaul University College of Law, where her studies and volunteer work focus on
immigration, domestic violence, and the ways these issues both intersect and influence other areas of law, including housing. As a resident of Humboldt Park since moving to Chicago in 2014, Alexandra welcomes the opportunity at LUCHA to learn more about the housing challenges the community faces, and about present and future answers to these challenges.

The DePaul Law experience is uniquely designed to broaden and deepen a student’s perspective through distinctive, innovative programs that build on the law school’s strengths and prepare DePaul Law graduates for emerging fields of practice. This experience is enriched by the law school’s integration throughout the diverse, global city of Chicago, which provides an amazing variety of opportunities for students to learn and apply what they have learned through experiential and public service opportunities. Law students must complete at least six credit hours of experiential education courses from a list of approved courses and Alexandra opted to complete this requirement with LUCHA.

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

IMAG022235 years ago, neighbors who believed that fair and affordable housing was worth fighting for organized in Humboldt Park and LUCHA has been championing housing needs for community residents ever since. Throughout the 1980s, LUCHA developed more than 100 units of affordable rental housingscattered across Humboldt Park and the surrounding neighborhoods on the Northwest side of Chicago. During the 1990s, after the Woodstock Institute issued a report on lenders discriminating against Latino and African-American mortgage seekers, LUCHA negotiated two mortgage programs directing $20 million towards Latino and African-American homebuyers. 10 years ago, when the housing market collapsed, LUCHA advocated for better lending practices to stop predatory lenders and mitigated foreclosure for over 140 households.

bikelab2016-Week3-D4-103 cropToday, LUCHA operates a Freddie Mac Borrower Help Center which serves more than 3,000 low-to-moderate income clients annually throughout the Midwest via workshops and individual counseling for potential homebuyers and households facing foreclosure. The LUCHA Law Project addresses the legal needs of clients who face fair housing infringements, particularly those who speak Spanish. In January, LUCHA expects to complete construction on the first three-flat of Tierra Linda, 45 scattered site units of affordable rental housing. Because housing is much more than bricks and mortar, Tierra Linda will be built to green standards and focus on residents’ health and wellness. LUCHA’s Health and Wellness Fellow coordinates regular programming for residents such as cooking classesbike rides, trips to the farmer’s market, and gardening to connect them with the broader community and ensure that everyone thrives.

Since our humble beginning of one staff member and a $35,000 budget, LUCHA has developed into 37 staff members with an operating budget of $2.2 million and assets in the tens of millions. Throughout our 35 years, we have grown immensely. As innovators, our approach has transformed over time in response to the continually evolving landscape of challenges presented in our community. However, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing housing as a human right. LUCHA would not be where we are today apart from continued collaboration with our community partners and the investment of neighbors like you. Thank you for being a part of our story – we look forward to sharing the next 35 years with you as well!

Staff Retreat - 2017.10.21 CROP

Tierra Linda is Under Construction

LUCHA closed on Tierra Linda near the end of June, 2017 and the beginning stages of construction are underway! The work is estimated to take 16 months in all, with the first units being available to lease around the start of 2018. A new construction, scattered site development within the Humboldt Park and Logan Square community areas of Chicago, Tierra Linda marries sustainable design and healthy living. A mix of newly constructed 3-flat and 6-flat buildings over 12 scattered lots, Tierra Linda will provide 45 dwelling units of one, two, and three bedroom options. The units will be accessible to households making less than 50% of the median income for the area. (Expected monthly rents range from $614 – $1,055).

Tierra Linda is LUCHA’s first sustainability-oriented development, bridging affordable housing with green technology for low income residents of the City of Chicago. Located along the 606 Elevated Trail, Tierra Linda represents LUCHA’s commitment to transforming communities through community development and increasing neighborhood access to those who have been disenfranchised from Chicago’s increasingly exclusive housing market.  Moreover, it pushes the envelope within the field of affordable housing by expanding the scope to include environmental sustainability.

View our progress here or check out our architect’s renderings here!

Tierra Linda Pre-Application Event

LUCHA will be accepting Pre-Applications for LUCHA’s newest affordable housing development, Tierra Linda. A new construction, scattered site development within the Humboldt Park and Logan Square community areas of Chicago, Tierra Linda marries sustainable design and healthy living. A mix of newly constructed 3-flat and 6-flat buildings over 12 scattered lots, Tierra Linda will provide 45 dwelling units of one, two, and three bedroom options. The units will be accessible to households making less than 50% of the median income for the area. (Expected monthly rents range from $614 – $1,055). Construction is underway and the work is estimated to take 16 months in all, with the first units being available to lease around the start of 2018.

Staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist with the pre-application process.
*In-Person Applicants Only*

Dates:
Thursday, September 21st from 3-7 pm
Saturday, September 23rd from 10 am- 2 pm

Place:
Humboldt Park Residence
1152 N. Christiana Avenue, Chicago, IL 60651

Applicants Must:
– Be at least 18 years old
– Pass a criminal background and credit check
– Good housing history (rental/ownership) including house keeping

-Section 8 vouchers accepted
-Pets are not permitted, apartments are non-smoking

Call us at (773) 276-5338 ext. 221 for more information

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LUCHA estará aceptando pre-aplicaciones para su nuevo desarollo de vivienda económica, Tierra Linda. Empleados de LUCHA y voluntarios estarán disponibles para ayudar con el proceso de pre-aplicación.

*No se aceptará la pre-aplicación si el solicitante no está presente.*

Fechas:
Jueves, 21 de septiembre de 3 pm a 7 pm
Sábado, 23 de septiembre de 10 am a 2 pm

Lugar:
Humboldt Park Residence
1152 N Christiana Ave
Chicago, IL 60651

REQUISITOS PARA SOLICITAR:
– Mínimo 18 años de edad
– Verificación de crédito y revisión de antecedentes penales
-Buen historial como inquilino

-Se habla español
-No se permiten mascotas
-Se aceptan vales de Sección 8

-Está estrictamente prohibido fumar en los edificios

¿Preguntas? Visite www.lucha.org o llámenos al (773) 276-5338 ext. 221

*Tierra Linda consiste de 45 unidades (12 edificios) de vivienda sustentable y promueve una vida saludable. Estarán ubicadas cerca del Paseo 606 (606 Trail) en Humboldt Park y Logan Square.*