Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic—Significant Achievements for 2019-20

The Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic closed several notable affordable housing development transactions during the 2019-2020 school year:

Parkside Four, Phase Two – The Housing Initiative Clinic closed on the next major phase of the Cabrini Green public housing redevelopment under the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation.  Under the Plan, the CHA is replacing former public housing high-rises with new, mixed-income, low- and mid-rise developments.  The clinic’s client, Cabrini Green LAC Community Development Corporation, is a 501(c)(3) led by public housing residents and organized with the clinic’s help years ago.  The current phase, called Parkside Four Phase Two, is a challenging in-fill development that must create low-rise units in sufficient numbers to satisfy the remaining public housing families with rights to housing under the Plan for Transformation and Relocation Rights Contract.  The closing involved finalization of acquisition and financing documentation for a $44 million construction project that will create 102 units of mixed income housing.  The Cabrini Green redevelopment continues to offer students the opportunity to engage in one of the most important, politically charged, and technically sophisticated affordable housing real estate transactions in the country.

Pilsen Housing Cooperative - in 2018, the Housing Initiative Clinic worked with artists and long-time residents of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood who had organized to fight displacement from gentrification through the establishment of a resident-owned, limited equity housing cooperative called Pilsen Housing Cooperative (PIHCO).  PIHCO aims to reintroduce a path to homeownership for low to moderate-income families in Pilsen by acquiring multiple properties and organizing as a scattered-site co-op. The clinic worked with PIHCO to structure the co-op’s bylaws to build in enough flexibility to incorporate PIHCO’s guiding principles of affordability and anticipated expansion, and also to create guidelines and direction for the Board to handle issues that arise in the future. This year, the clinic represented PIHCO in its first-ever building acquisition, of a six unit multifamily building on 19th Street, and sale of memberships to PIHCO’s first co-op families.  These six co-op families will now be able to afford to live in their neighborhood for decades to come, and will serve as the anchor for PIHCO’s further expansion in Pilsen.

Genesis Housing Cooperative - The Housing Initiative represented this south side limited equity cooperative in its refinancing and renovation transaction, with a $1 million budget and a project scale of 22 units.  The rehab work is ongoing and nearly complete.

Sol House Cooperative – The clinic represented Sol House Cooperative, which the clinic had earlier helped to organize and acquire its Logan Square location, in a refinancing of the co-op’s blanket mortgage.  The closing involved three layers of financing for a total budget of $645,000.

Liberty Temple Church – This closing involved a $1 million construction loan for the interior build-out of the church’s community center.  (Earlier, the clinic had assisted the church with its construction contract for the building shell.)  Located in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood on the south side, the community center will provide the community with new amenities including classroom space, gymnasium and theater stage.

Community Male Empowerment Project - CMEP is a charitable organization that focuses on workforce development through renovation of vacant, foreclosed houses in distressed neighborhoods throughout Chicagoland.  The clinic represented CMEP in its successful closing on a $200,000 line of credit from the Chicago Community Loan Fund, to be applied towards CMEP’s future acquisitions and rehabs.

Claretian Associates Inc. – Claretian Associates Inc. is a community development corporation in the South Chicago neighborhood.  The clinic represented Claretian Associates in its successful negotiation and execution of a joint venture agreement for the upcoming SACRED development.  SACRED is a multi-family development that will be located on East 92nd Street and will provide 40 plus units of permanent supportive and affordable housing to very low-income individuals and households including veterans, individuals with disabilities, and seniors raising their grandchildren.

In addition to the closings described above, the clinic served additional clients through counseling and advice on property management issues, resident services issues, nonprofit tax compliance, and financing structuring to community organizations including Winthrop Apartments Cooperative, Community Male Empowerment Project, Logan Square Cooperative, Qumbya Co-op, Voice of the People of Uptown, and many others.