Housing Initiative Clinic Closes on CMEP Rehab and Acquisition in the Hyde Park Neighborhood

The Housing Initiative Clinic assisted clinic client Community Male Empowerment Project (“CMEP”) this summer with a closing on an acquisition, rehabilitation, and sale of a single family townhome to a low-income buyer. Clinic students Stephanie Yesnik ’14 and Megan Stephens ’14 worked on the acquisition and rehabilitation phases of the project, and Seo-Young Lee ’17, Jacob Walley ’17, and Sarah David ’16 worked on the sale of the completed townhome to the homebuyer. Clinical Professor Jeff Leslie supervised all phases of the transaction.

CMEP is a community development organization that strives to promote stability and economic growth in inner city communities in Chicago. Along with its other activities, CMEP acquires foreclosed or abandoned properties from banks, rehabilitates them, and sells or donates the properties to low- and moderate-income buyers. Rehabilitating vacant or foreclosed properties and ensuring that they are occupied assists the effort to reduce crime and revitalize Chicago’s neighborhoods.

CMEP undertook this rehabilitation as part of the City of Chicago’s Troubled Buildings Initiative (“TBI”), a proactive partnership between Neighborhood Housing Services (“NHS”) and the City to protect viable housing stock from deterioration or abandonment. TBI uses City resources and NHS’s lending platform to provide affordable housing developers like CMEP with the necessary capital to acquire and rehabilitate existing residential buildings. The developers then ensure that the properties comply with any applicable codes and are safe and habitable for potential homebuyers or renters.

This home in the Hyde Park neighborhood is one of a number of formerly abandoned homes that CMEP has successfully rehabilitated and marketed to low-income buyers with the clinic’s assistance.