Community Resources

The LUCHA Community Resources Guide is a directory of public, non-profit, and some private for-profit human services available to Cook County residents. Designed and maintained by LUCHA staff, this guide seeks to provide service descriptions, service access criteria, eligibility criteria, and location, language, and contact information for hundreds of organizations providing services to our community.

Access the resource guide here.

  • Education
  • Community Law
  • Policies and Advocacy
  • Home Repairs
  • Health and Wellness

Financial Capability

Securing financial stability is the first step towards economic mobility and potential homeownership. Through ongoing educational initiatives and one-on-one counseling (including credit counseling), LUCHA provides clients with the resources and guidance to ensure that the bills are paid and that there are still funds to plan for the future.

To advance your financial stability, LUCHA

  • Promotes informed financial decisions
  • Provides strategies for financial stability
  • Presents innovative approaches to debt payment and savings

For more information, contact us at 773-489-8484.

Para obtener más información, por favor llame 773-489-8484.

 

Homebuyer Counseling

LUCHA’s expert Housing Counselors provide the assistance you need to purchase your first home!

Through educational workshops and individual counseling, our knowledgeable counselors will help you purchase your first home. Our staff explains how to maintain good credit, choose the perfect home, select the right loan for your budget and apply for thousands of dollars in down payment and closing cost assistance. All services are fully bilingual (English/Spanish) and bicultural.

First-Time Homebuyer Workshop

As a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, LUCHA provides first-time homebuyers with educational workshops, credit counseling, mortgage support, access to down-payment assistance, and a number of other services. Through these services, families are responsibly prepared for the rigors of homeownership and finance.

A través de talleres bilingües y de consejería individual, nuestros consejeros le ayudarán a comprar su primera casa. Ellos le explicarán cómo mantener un buen crédito, escoger una casa y elegir un préstamo adecuado. LUCHA ayuda a compradores de casa en encontrar subsidios de agencias estatales y otros recursos.

Register for a First-Time Homebuyer Workshop!

For more information, contact LUCHA’s Freddie Mac Borrower Help Center at 773-489-8484.

Para obtener más información, por favor llame 773-489-8484.

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Foreclosure Prevention

Losing your home doesn’t have to be an option!

LUCHA works with households to mitigate potential and impending cases of foreclosure. Navigating the foreclosure process alone can be stressful, confusing, and time-consuming. We help you:

  • Review your credit and personal finances
  • Explore loss mitigation options
  • Identify ways to cut your monthly expenses
  • Apply for a loan modification
  • Compile a packet and letter to send to your lender
  • Negotiate with your lender

Post-Purchase Services

Since the housing market collapsed in 2008, LUCHA has lead local agencies in mitigating the experience of foreclosure for Chicagoans. Often, families will be living in homes valued below their remaining mortgage. There are others who can’t afford to continue paying their mortgage due to extenuating circumstances. As a Freddie Mac Borrower Help Center, LUCHA acts as a liaison between banks, lenders, and people experiencing foreclosure in order to maximize homeownership retention opportunities.

For more information, contact LUCHA’s Freddie Mac Borrower Help Center at 773-489-8484 or intake@lucha.org.

Para obtener más información, por favor llame 773-489-8484 o intake@lucha.org.

Community Law Program

Working within the law to improve it.

LUCHA’s Community Law Program, initially launched as the LUCHA Law Project, furthers our mission of advancing housing as a human right by providing legal counsel, real estate closing services, eviction diversion services, and advocacy in favor of affordable housing. Services include help with eviction court, landlord-tenant negotiations, residential closings, and outreach and education on fair housing issues throughout the Chicago region. LUCHA distinguishes itself by providing services in both Spanish and English in a culturally-relevant environment.

For more information, please call (773) 276-5338.

Fair Housing Legal Counseling & Education

LUCHA’s services provides clients with legal representation, housing-related information, problem-solving, community events, workshops and housing fairs to assist low- and moderate-income homeowners. Example: LUCHA represented a rental client as she fought for her rights under the Keep Chicago Renting Ordinance. The client’s landlord failed to inform the renter that the property was under foreclosure, and through no fault of her own, the client was forced to move due to the foreclosure process. Through LUCHA’s representation, the client was awarded $10,600 in moving assistance – money she was able to use to help her family regain housing stability!

Real Estate Services

LUCHA works with clients in need of real estate services such as residential closings and housing contract review. We offer bilingual/bicultural real estate services (English/Spanish) to aid Chicago’s Latino and Spanish-speaking populations in culturally and linguistically relevant ways to ensure that these populations have equal access to homeownership opportunities – Latinos comprise ~29% of Chicago’s population and have one of the lowest homeownership rates (45%) among racial/ethnic groups nationwide.

A Legacy of Advocacy & Outreach

Our Experience

LUCHA is by your side to help advance neighborhood development. Our team organizes local leadership to identify community and housing needs and advocate for the resources to make change a reality. Pairing up with our building development team, LUCHA organizers engage community residents in the creative process -transforming empty lots and dilapidated buildings into safe, affordable housing.

 

525 Task Force

Since 2016, LUCHA has been part of a coalition of community organizations and community developers known as the 525 Task Force. The coalition advocates for the replacement of the 525 public housing units lost in the ongoing redevelopment of the Lathrop Homes with 525 newly constructed affordable family public housing units in the immediate area.

The Task Force has garnered support from aldermen across the North side to ensure multiple neighborhoods participate in the development of these units. As such, the predominantly Latinx and African-American families who reside in these units will gain access to the North side of Chicago, an economically thriving area with excellent access to transit, employment opportunities, and public schools. As of 2017, the Task Force has influenced the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) to adapt its redevelopment plan and include 525 family-sized, public housing replacement units as well as an additional 105 public housing units. The Task Force is fundamentally and continually dedicated to eliminating barriers to affordable public housing in a racially equitable way.

606 Ordinance

In 2017, LUCHA convened like-minded community organizations to craft an ordinance that would 1) keep long-term homeowners and renters of the rapidly gentrifying Humboldt Park and Logan Square neighborhoods (the “606 Residential Area”) stably in place, and 2) maintain naturally occurring affordable housing in the area. The ordinance (“The Pilot Act for the Preservation of Affordable Housing”) as drafted by LUCHA in collaboration with community partners effectively reduces the number of property demolitions in the 606 Residential Area through enforcement of a demolition fee per affordable unit lost. The ordinance asserts that collected demolition fees are to be fed into the 606 Residential Area Affordable Housing Trust Fund. The fund empowers LUCHA and partners to maintain affordable housing in the 606 Residential Area by providing major home repairs for low to moderate-income and long-term resident households in the area. As of December 2017, the ordinance is in committee.

Small Accessible Repairs for Seniors (SARFS)

LUCHA helps seniors remain independent in their homes. SARFS provides home improvements and enabling devices to residents aged 60 and over. Our skilled repair crew installs handrails, modifies bathrooms, repairs floors and widens doorways to make your home safe and accessible for your mobility needs. Types of improvements provided:

  • Doors
  • Storm Windows
  • Flooring
  • Grab bars
  • Toilets
  • Vanities
  • Faucets
  • Handrails

How Do I Apply? For information, please call LUCHA at 773-276-5338 ext. 226. LUCHA will assist any Chicago resident – homeowners and tenants – seeking home repairs but focuses on wards 01, 26, 30, 31, 35. If you don’t know your ward, look it up here!

Applicants must bring the following documents with them to their appointment:

  • Picture ID
  • Social Security Card
  • Birth Certificate, Passport or Certificate of Citizenship
  • Proof of income for the current year for you and all the working members of your household
  • Proof of monthly Pension, SSI or Public Aid

If you are a homeowner:

  • Proof of ownership such as Deed or Property Tax Bill
  • If multiple units: rent receipts for all rented apartments for last 3 months
  • Divorce or death certificate if there is another person listed on Deed

If you are a tenant:

  • Most recent rent receipts

Health & Wellness Resource Hub

Use the interactive map to search for health resources in your surrounding area.

Many thanks to the University of Chicago TechTeam who provided technical support in the development of this tool!

Health Action Plan

As an extension of LUCHA’s efforts to integrate healthy living to positively impact the health of its residents, LUCHA is working to combine positive health outcomes into all its work. One of the initiatives is to create a position within LUCHA to expand beyond the built environment and include programming as a key strategy to engage residents and empower them to make lifestyle changes.

A Health & Wellness Coordinator allows the organization to establish and maintain a fruitful relationship with its incoming tenant population at Tierra Linda as well as existing tenants, and in this way, identify the needs and effectiveness of new and existing interventions. The Health & Wellness coordinator educates tenants on the green and healthy features within the units inside of the properties in order to emphasize the health and wellness goals of the community. Furthermore, the Health & Wellness Initiative serves as a resource for tenants as well as local health organizations and community partners. The Health & Wellness Coordinator, as a part of LUCHA’s larger Health & Wellness Initiative, implements and tracks the outcomes of the strategies and programming identified in LUCHA’s Health Action Plan. 

Through tracking and reporting, the outcomes of LUCHA’s health and housing strategies can then be referenced by other housing developers and health professionals focusing on the interface between health and housing, especially for low-income households.

Much of LUCHA’s programming is guided by our Health Action Plan which was developed in 2016. Read the entire Health Action Plan here.

 

Community Gardens

LUCHA’s community gardens create healthy food systems that feed healthy communities.

Having begun gardening only a handful of years ago, LUCHA is still getting its feet wet in the urban agriculture scene, but is quickly learning how its gardens can enhance the livelihood of tenants. Over the years, the assistance of a local gardening expert as well as a microgreen entrepreneur, LUCHA has established garden beds within the HPR courtyard for produce and plans to develop a garden on Drake Avenue upon completion of Tierra Linda.

Tierra Linda Garden Pilot Project

As part of LUCHA’s Health and Wellness Initiative, LUCHA created the “Tierra Linda Garden Pilot Project” in May of 2016 to educate LUCHA tenants and community members on a variety of hands-on gardening practices. In partnership with Closed Loops Farm, a local for-profit sustainable urban farm endeavor in Chicago, LUCHA tenants and local community members were invited to weekly hands-on gardening lessons on urban agriculture to learn about the seasonal and local crops. This gardening adventure took place on a plot of land owned by LUCHA that would eventually become a construction site for a new Tierra Linda development.

Connecting the Garden to the Kitchen

In the summer of 2017, LUCHA’s Health and Wellness Fellow joined the team and has since been integral in providing leadership for the development of LUCHA’s gardening initiatives. With the addition of the Health & Wellness Fellow, LUCHA has made a concerted effort to include produce from the garden into the organization’s weekly cooking classes held at HPR.

For more information, please call Rachael Wilson at (773) 276-5338 ext. 223 or email rwilson@lucha.org.

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