Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic—Significant Achievements for 2018-19

The Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic continued its work supporting nonprofits and low income residents in the development of new affordable housing.

One notable project this year was the clinic’s work to preserve the South Chicago YMCA on 91st Street in Chicago.  The YMCA had operated at that location for 90 years, but was going to permanently close its doors due to declining membership and $3 million in needed renovations.  The clinic represented Claretian Associates (“Claretian”) in structuring a joint venture with another nonprofit developer, the Preservation of Affordable Housing (“POAH”), to acquire and renovate the South Chicago YMCA. 

Claretian Associates is a longtime member of the South Chicago community and is the only nonprofit housing developer based in South Chicago. Since 1991, Claretian has developed over 140 units of affordable housing for low-income families and seniors. In addition to developing and improving South Chicagoans’ access to affordable housing, Claretian also pursues partnerships and initiatives in employment, safety, the arts, and environmental awareness in an effort to engage in comprehensive and sustainable community development.

Claretian undertook the acquisition and renovation of the YMCA – now called the Salud Center – through a partnership with POAH and with financing support from HUD. In addition to providing much needed affordable housing for the community, the Salud Center will feature wellness services provided by Claretians to residents and the general community. There are also future plans to secure low income housing tax credits and other financing for capital improvements that will ensure that the Salud Center provides such resources for many years to come.

Clinic students participated in multiple rounds of negotiation and drafting to finalize the joint venture agreement between Claretian and POAH.  Students also drafted the form lease agreement for Claretian to use with future service providers for the Salud Center community space.  Students also had the opportunity to tour Claretian’s redevelopment area in South Chicago.

Many law students provided assistance to the project over the time of the clinic’s involvement, under the direction of Clinical Professor Jeff Leslie, including Nicole Alvarez, ’20, Will Reeves, ‘20, and Tarra Thiessen, ’19.