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Housing

Metro IL Reclaiming Communities with $215 million in housing for Chicago & throughout state


United Power for Action and Justice, Lake County United, DuPage United, and the Fox River Valley Initiative fought hard for inclusion of substantial money for affordable housing and for specific allocation of funds for what we call “Reclaiming Communities” in two Chicago neighborhoods: Southwest Chicago and Lawndale. In a three month period, leaders held nineteen relational actions with key state legislative leaders and the Governor’s staff resulting in a win on all three fronts: $12 million for Reclaiming Southwest Chicago to move from 35 to 135 renovated homes, $3 million to initiate the Reclaiming Lawndale Initiative —starting with 2 key vacant corner buildings that will provide 50 affordable homes and an initiative to restore traditional greystone homes throughout the community and $200 million for the creation of affordable housing throughout the state.  These dollars can be used to end homelessness, to provide housing for families, seniors, or individuals with physical or mental disabilities, or to reclaim more communities.

WIN Celebrates Affordable Housing Grand Opening


WIN leaders from all across the city came out to celebrate this affordable housing and organizing win at Parkway Overlook. 
 
Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) leaders have been organizing around Parkway Overlook in DC's Ward 8 for years. Since the 266-unit building was closed down by HUD in 2008 due to its crumbling conditions, it has been one of DC's largest abandominiums. The Parkway Overlook Tenant Association and three WIN member congregations—Brighter Day UMC, National UMC, and New Life Ministries—vigorously organized to get Parkway Overlook renovated and reopened. The grand opening took place April 2019. Learn more about the story HERE.
  
 
 

Fox River Valley Initiative Wins $19M to build Affordable Housing for Families and people with Mental or Developmental Disabilities

Leaders from the Fox River Valley Initiative organized over the past eight months building power within the Elgin, IL community by going door-to-door and having conversations with over 200 residents, meeting with the city council members and finally delivering 200 people to the Planning & Zoning Meeting to push the recommendation for the council through.
 
The Elgin council unanimously voted for the $19M dollar Affordable Housing Project, which will build 48 units of affordable housing for families (2/3 bdrms) with 10 studio units for people with a mental or developmental disability and an onsite case manager. Overall this project will create permanent supportive affordable housing for 100 men, women, children and people with disabilities. 
 
Detailed Timeline of Campaign HERE.
 

East Brooklyn Congregations, Metro NY, Seniors, Students & Residents Demand that Mayor de Blasio end delays and begin development for thousands of affordable housing units for low-income senior citizens

Over 250 EBC, Metro NY IAF leaders, seniors, students, NYCHA residents and pastors rallied at Redwood Senior Living this past December calling on Mayor de Blasio to end delays of the historic $500 million investment in new low-income senior housing Metro NY won this past summer.  The unprecedented affordable housing investment was immediately supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of a special tax incentive for developers who would build 100% affordable units for seniors. 
 
At the action a new report was released calling on the mayor to launch development of thousands of housing units for low-income senior citizens. The report, “A Home for All New Yorkers: Low-Income Senior Housing as a Model for Citywide Affordable Development,” offers a proposal in stark contrast with the mayor's NYCHA “rescue” plans, which involve 99-year leases of NYCHA land for private developers to build luxury apartments.
 
 
The leaders were joined by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Attorney General-elect Tish James, Council members Laurie Cumbo and Rafael Espinal, and Assembly member Latrice Walker.  
 
Afterwards the attendees toured Redwood Senior Living and visited 6 apartments to meet the residents whose lives have been changed by the opportunity to live in a 100% affordable, clean and safe community.  
 
Metro NY continues to push the mayor and local officials to develop a real plan with a goal of building at least 150 developments across the city; as well as repair neglected NYCHA apartment units; create affordable housing for young families; protect homeowners; and hold slumlords accountable.  
 
MORE PRESS
 
 
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WIN Celebrates Grand Opening of 99 Affordable Housing Units

For over 10 years, WIN member Emory UMC and Emory Beacon of Light, in partnership with The Community Builders, worked for over a decade to build 99 units of affordable housing on church land. WIN supported the effort throughout the process, including getting the zoning through the Historic Review Board after the site was declared too historic to alter. The project broke ground in 2016, and this March, we finally celebrated the grand opening!

Manhattan Together and South Bronx Churches Victorious in Negotiating New Consent Decree with NYCHA to Address Toxic Mold in Public Housing

NYCHA resident stands by a living room wall that is leaking water and has ruined the plaster at the Jackson Houses in the Bronx. | Photo by Richard Harbus, NY Daily News
 
In addition to forcing the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to make hundreds more repairs in apartments, Manhattan Together and South Bronx Churches successfully negotiated a newly revised consent decree with NYCHA. This settlement establishes even tougher standards for properly fixing mold and leaks in all 186,000 units of public housing in New York, and a program by which the repairs can be made. Even more importantly, it creates independent oversight entities that will ensure NYCHA is acting effectively and honestly in accordance with the agreement. Those entities can force NYCHA to make proper repairs, or hire outside contractors to do it when they will not.
 
Photo Credit - Getty Images, Drew Angerer

Lake County United Celebrates Construction on $30 Million 185-Bed Affordable Nursing Home

Groundbreaking for 185-Bed Affordable Housing Nursing Home in Lake County, IL
 
Eleven years ago, Lake County was positioning to close Winchester House, which would have left over 200 low-income seniors without an affordable place to live. On December 4th, at the official groundbreaking of a 185-unit affordable nursing home, County Board Chair Steve Carlson began his remarks with “This all began with a conversation with Lake County United.”
 
Over the years, Lake County United (LCU) continued to press to keep the nursing home open and affordable. Of the 185 beds, 65% are Medicaid and will include long-term nursing, memory care and short-term rehab services. The building of the facility is expected to be completed by mid-year in 2020. The old building will be torn down and made into a potential land site for more affordable housing. 
 

Durham CAN Wins 277 Units of Affordable Housing in Downtown Durham

Durham CAN leaders attending Durham County Commissioners meeting as they vote on affordable housing.
 
After three years of organizing and persistent public pressure, Durham CAN won 277 new apartments in downtown Durham near three of its anchor congregations. Voting unanimously for the plan, Durham County Commissioners kept their commitment to Durham CAN and agreed to put affordable and market-rate apartments on county land on the 300 and 500 blocks of East Main Street. The land was originally slated for luxury housing in a deal that was not public. Leaders pressured Durham City Council to prioritize affordable housing on over four acres of city-owned land that led to the Mayor presenting a proposal reflecting Durham CAN’s top priority and included all demands: a minimum of 80 units of affordable housing for families under 60% AMI, including a commitment for a developer to work with the Durham Housing Authority to accept residents with vouchers.
 

Greater Cleveland Congregations Pushes City Council to Unanimously Pass Legislation Requiring Foreclosure Bonds for Residential Properties

Organizing efforts of GCC's Housing Taskforce resulted in Cleveland Heights City Council unanimously passing legislation requiring foreclosure bonds for vacant residential properties. The legislation requires that $15,000 cash bonds be set aside once a property has been vacant for 60 days.  A $1,500 administrative fee will also be deducted annually to manage the program. Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow cited the strong advocacy from local GCC institutions, which sponsored a bus tour of 19 distressed properties in Cleveland Heights’ Noble neighborhood this summer. Advocates had tried to get this legislation passed five years ago with no luck. With their persistence and organizing skills, the GCC Housing Taskforce overcame the obstacles and made passing the legislation a reality.

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