Playstreets @ HPR

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!

Continued Investment of the JCUA

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!

The Latest on Tierra Linda

Despite posting flyers in nearly every grocery store, partner organization’s office, and public park, LUCHA could not have expected such a strong turn out as they received when employees arrived at the Humboldt Park Residence on Thursday, September 21st. Families with small children, elderly couples, and men and women from as far away as Gary, Indiana began to line up at 6am for the Tierra Linda Pre-Application Event which registered applicants to be put on a waiting list for one of many affordable housing building developments being constructed in the area. 

Building Development Associate Lincoln Stannard remarked, “There was a large buildup to this event. People were sharing the event on Facebook, they were talking with their neighbors. We hadn’t had an event like this in years,” referring to the opening of brand new affordable housing developments.

All in all, more than 500 applications were submitted on both Thursday the 21st and Saturday the 23rd – the second of two pre-application events. Qualifying families will have the opportunity to move into one of 45 units, with the first of several buildings completing construction in early 2018.

Like any large scale, multi-site construction project, there have been various hiccups but overall the construction thus far has been steady and productive with crews having worked on at least half of the sites in some way thus far, whether through excavation or site evaluation. Developments at the 1421 N. Artesian Ave and Sawyer Ave locations are further along than most with ground floor slabs slated to be poured in the next week or two and utility connections in the process of being established.

Unique to Tierra Linda is its Passive House designation, a rigorous energy efficiency standard with a primary emphasis on reducing the ecological footprint of the building. Director of Building Development Charlene Andreas is current in Seattle, Washington at the Annual North American Passive House Conference proudly speaking about Tierra Linda as the first multi-family Passive House in the state of Illinois.

For more photos like this from LUCHA’s 1421 N. Artesian Tierra Linda site, check out our photo album from a recent site visit