Chicago’s trendy Logan Square neighborhood is now home to 54 new units of affordable, accessible housing designed to serve people with a range of disabilities. Construction on the last of the scattered-site units was completed in January, and every wheelchair-accessible unit was rented as soon as it became available over the last year.
The Logan Square apartments were developed as part of IFF’s Home First program, which was designed to help meet demand from the thousands of individuals interested in transitioning from large, centralized institutions to small, scattered-site, community-integrated homes. This is the first Home First project developed with funding from Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Last year, IFF completed a 70-unit project across Chicago and Cook County.
“Home First is fundamentally improving the lives of dozens of disabled men and women, who – by transitioning from institutions to independent living – are able to gain a level of personal choice, freedom of movement, and dignity that comes from being able to live on their own terms,” says Lisa Williams, IFF’s Home First Director.
It is challenging to attract traditional real estate developers to these scattered-site developments that enable community integration because it’s cheaper and easier to do one large constriction project. That’s why IFF decided to develop and permanently own these assets – a new role for IFF that adds to our 28 years of experience financing affordable housing for individuals with disabilities. Home First is supported by Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, and PNC Foundation. The Logan Square project received additional support from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, PNC Bank, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, Chicago Housing Authority, and the Weinberg Foundation, as well as several empty lots provided by the City of Chicago for $1 each.