We are continuously grateful for our transformative partnership with Humble Design Chicago, a local organization which creates “home” for families transitioning from homelessness by providing free design and furnishing services. This month, our staff and tenants participated in a volunteer day of service to furnish the home of a longtime LUCHA client who recently welcomed a child. Through equal parts hard work, determination and humor, we together furnished a three-bedroom house in three hours. New additions include a modern dining table for family dinners and outdoor furniture for the backyard just in time for warm days ahead. Please join us in welcoming this family to their new home!
We give endless thanks to our wonderful partners, staff and residents who continue to show up for our critical mission of advancing housing as a human right.
LUCHA continues to expand its range of programming for its affordable housing tenants and community members! Always innovating, our staff hosted a yoga and mindfulness workshop at our SRO building in partnership with Lowell Elementary School. It has been documented that mindfulness techniques help practitioners of all ages and capacities better cope with stress and encourage self-empowerment, helping them to overcome obstacles that may have seemed impossible before. Through the lesson, Lowell students, class leaders, LUCHA staff and residents learned new ways to be active and present with one another and built further avenues of connection among generations.
LUCHA’s Passive House has officially been certified by the Passive House Institute US! Our Tierra Linda development features the first affordable, multi-family Passive House in the state and bridges green technology and housing affordability for low-income families. Located along the 606 Trail, Tierra Linda and its Passive House represent LUCHA’s commitment to mindful, sustainable community development and increasing neighborhood access to residents who might otherwise be displaced from Chicago’s increasingly exclusive housing market. Moreover, it is a step toward an equitable, affordable housing field which approaches development through the lens of environmental sustainability.
LUCHA sees the Passive House – and Tierra Linda as a whole – as a testament to the fact that everyone deserves access to high quality housing and a healthy space to live. Thank you to our entire network of supporters for your commitment to advancing housing as a human right through this development!
LUCHA has once again been awarded under the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA)’sForeclosure Prevention Program! The Foreclosure Prevention Program is in its sixth round and provides funding to support housing counseling and foreclosure prevention outreach. While it might appear that there is a reduced need to fund foreclosure mitigation services due to the continued recovery of the housing market, foreclosure continues to threaten sustainable homeownership opportunities for marginalized groups that lost the greatest shares of wealth as a result of the housing bubble bursting in 2007. A 2017 report from the University of Illinois at Chicago states that the foreclosure crisis impacted most Latinx neighborhoods at higher rates than it impacted housing stability in Chicago overall; as a result, Latinx neighborhoods have experienced instability, housing insecurity and high rates of family displacement.
With these funds, LUCHA will continue to provide culturally-relevant housing counseling and education services – including foreclosure prevention outreach, group education and individual counseling – at no cost to clients with the goal of promoting housing stability, sustainable homeownership and generational wealth-building.
In 2018, LUCHA partnered with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA) and Chicago United for Equity (CUE) to conduct a Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) proposed Complete Streets project for North Milwaukee Avenue from Logan Square to Belmont. An REIA is a nationally-tested, community-driven process that identifies which groups are most likely to benefit from and which will be burdened by a particular project, then proposes strategies for ensuring equitable outcomes. To advance the project with a racial equity lens, proposed recommendations include the creation and preservation of affordable, family-sized housing, such as that proposed on the Emmett Street lot. Click here to read the full REIA.
Recognized for his organizational leadership and his efforts as an affordable housing advocate, LUCHA’s Executive Director, Juan Carlos Linares, is currently serving on Mayor-Elect Lightfoot’s Housing Transition Committee. As Committee Co-Chair, Juan Carlos is promoting LUCHA’s mission to advance housing as a human right to help shape the Mayor-Elect’s housing priorities, forthcoming policies and resource allocation procedures.
LUCHA is a long-standing, community-based organization with a legacy of grassroots organizing and community-driven development; as such, we place high value on civic engagement and representation. With all of the new changes coming to City Hall in a few weeks’ time, we will continue to champion our communities’ best interest in our dealings with local and city offices.
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!