In February, we celebrated the continued investment of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) in support of the rehabilitation for LUCHA’s single-room occupancy (SRO) building, Humboldt Park Residence (HPR). The project has taken another step toward fruition! On March 12th, LUCHA and partners presented to the Community Development Commission (CDC), which unanimously approved the projects’ use of $3.8 million in Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) funds. City Council will determine final approval of the funds.
As Humboldt Park and surrounding areas experience gentrification and increasing displacement pressures, HPR continues to meet a critical need for housing affordability and accessibility bridged with resident engagement and community-building. Speaking to the significance of HPR in her life, resident Betty Cooper remarked, “It’s a real community over here, you know?”
Stay tuned as we move the HPR rehabilitation project forward in pursuit of advancing housing as a human right!
As an affiliate member of UnidosUS (formerly known as National Council of La Raza), LUCHA’s housing counseling and education staff attended the 2019 Change Makers Summit in Washington, DC last week. Topics addressed include pressing policy issues impacting our communities and ways to make our communities stronger through civic action. The summit presented an opportunity for us and our partners to build upon collective strategies as we empower our communities for years to come!
Last month, LUCHA’s housing counseling and education staff participated in the National Association for Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHPREP) Chicago ELEVATE event. The event highlighted our collective commitment to building generational wealth through homeownership, prioritizing investment without displacement, and created a space for community partners to focus on issues impacting Latinx residents. We are so grateful to be part of a network that recognizes the important role that housing counseling agencies play in generating community wealth for the residents we serve!
While communities of color in our nation are reeling from systemic racism manifesting in the forms of mass deportation and mass incarceration, they continue to demonstrate amazing resilience and talent. Join LUCHA in supporting the Illinois Access to Justice Program Act, which would implement a statewide program known as the Illinois Access to Justice and Opportunity Program. The program seeks to create a public/private fund to support community-based advocacy and legal assistance that will help remove barriers to prosperity and increase access to sustaining employment for vulnerable populations.
The Jewish Council on Urban Affairs (JCUA) has awarded LUCHA a Community Ventures Program loan to cover a portion of the rehabilitation costs for LUCHA’s single-room occupancy (SRO) building, Humboldt Park Residence (HPR). The rehabilitation will preserve 65 units and provide significant upgrades including private bathrooms, air conditioning, energy-efficient windows, and shared common space for community-building among staff and residents. As Humboldt Park and surrounding areas experience gentrification and increasing displacement pressures, HPR continues to meet a critical need for housing affordability and accessibility. A longstanding partner, JCUA also provided financial support during the predevelopment and construction phase of HPR back in 1995. We are grateful for the ongoing support of community partners who continue to see the value in advancing housing as a human right!
Always innovating, LUCHA is one of four organizations chosen by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) to participate in a 12-month program that offers the benefits of financial technology solutions to clients in Chicago. The program, supported by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Chase Foundation, will increase access to financial services for individuals and households in need and empower clients to invest in their financial health without disrupting their established ways of life. This month, LUCHA spent some time with the CFSI and longstanding community partner Center for Changing Lives (CCL) to review collective goals and strategies to best serve clients. We look forward to the continued collaboration!
LUCHA’s Executive Director, Juan Carlos Linares, has been appointed to the Board of Governors of the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC), an organization that works with leaders across government, business, non-profit and other sectors to advance public policies and best practices that build toward a more equitable, sustainable Chicago. An active partner of MPC via Elevated Chicago, Juan Carlos and LUCHA will continue to engage industry leaders and local stakeholders in the push for equitable community development, innovative infrastructure and equitable access to green/park space and other natural resources.
LUCHA’s Executive Director, Juan Carlos Linares, recently paid a visit to the Pereira Passos Institute (IPP) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The IPP serves as the city’s research body and manages city data to inform equitable public policy development and urban interventions. Andrea Pulici, the Technical Coordinator of Special Projects at the IPP, presented on the Social Territories Program, which serves families who are underserved by the existing network of social services in Rio de Janeiro. LUCHA and the IPP shared experiences and best practices in coping with inequality with regard to city living conditions, drawing an international link between cities like Chicago and Rio de Janiero, and demonstrating the need for equitable city development across the globe.
LUCHA’s Housing Opportunities Center has kicked off its 2019 group education activities! This is your year – join us for a group education workshop and build toward your dream of homeownership. For FREE registration, click here.
Upcoming workshop dates:
Saturday, February 9th, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday, February 23rd, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
For more information about housing counseling and education services at LUCHA’s Housing Opportunities Center, please call 773-489-8484.