The Housing Initiative Transactional Clinic worked on many innovative affordable housing and community development transactions during the 2020-2021 school year:
Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.)
H.O.M.E. is a longstanding nonprofit organization with a mission of helping Chicago's low-income seniors to live independent and socially engaged lives. In conjunction with another Chicago-area nonprofit, The Resurrection Project (TRC), H.O.M.E. is embarking on the development of ‘Senior Village II,’ which will provide multifamily affordable housing through an innovative intergenerational housing model. The clinic’s work to date has consisted of drafting and negotiating the agreement with the project architect, as well as drafting and negotiating the joint venture agreement between H.O.M.E. and TRC. The joint venture agreement addressed issues of governance and decision making, financing, roles in the development and post-development operations of the site, and the economic split between the parties, and will provide the framework for the transaction as the parties begin to line up the financing for the construction of the project.
The clinic began work this year with LUCHA, a service-oriented and affordable housing nonprofit on the City’s west side. LUCHA engaged the clinic to draft and negotiate a joint venture agreement with Evergreen Real Estate Group for the development of a multifamily housing project with up to 220 affordable rental units, a community center, and healthcare and childcare facilities. The project will be located at the westernmost end of The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail, on the City’s west side, on a parcel that formerly was the site of the Magid Glove factory.
Greater Chatham Initiative - Artists on the Nine
The Greater Chatham Initiative (GCI) is a nonprofit on Chicago’s south side that is engaged in the City of Chicago’s Retail Thrive program to improve commercial spaces in Chicago neighborhoods. GCI is working with a large-scale developer and manager of apartment housing to build out four units of formerly abandoned commercial space on the first floor of an apartment building in Chatham. The clinic had earlier negotiated the master lease and subleases for the space, and this academic year negotiated the construction contract and financing documents for the build out. Because the building is part of a designated historic district, the design of the commercial storefronts is being developed with an eye towards honoring the historic features of the neighborhood. This work is ongoing and the clinic anticipates closing on financing in the third quarter of 2021.
Oak Park Regional Housing Center
The Oak Park Regional Housing Center (OPRHC), a storied organization from the western suburbs of Chicago, began working with the clinic this year for the first time. The Housing Center was founded in 1972 as a grassroots effort by community activists, with the mission of embracing racial diversity in the face of rapid changes to the racial makeup of Oak Park and surrounding communities. The clinic’s work with OPRHC has consisted of negotiation of a joint venture agreement with an established nonprofit affordable housing developer to create a mixed-income, mixed-use development at the site of the historic Laramie State Bank building in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood on the west side. The project will bring new units of affordable housing and new commercial opportunities to the neighborhood, as well as preserve and restore an Art Deco architectural gem.
Logan Square Housing Co-operative
The clinic has worked with the residents of Logan Square Housing Co-op on various matters over the years, including bylaws and corporate governance issues, and retaining contractors for building renovations and improvements. This year, the clinic was engaged to negotiate the loan documents and to close on the co-op’s refinancing of its blanket mortgage. A successful closing was completed by our students in May.
Pilsen Housing Co-op
Artists and long-time residents of Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood organized to fight displacement from gentrification through the establishment of a resident-owned, limited equity housing cooperative called Pilsen Housing Cooperative (PIHCO). This academic year, the clinic negotiated a purchase contract for PIHCO’s next building acquisition, as well as a joint venture agreement with a for-profit developer to jointly rehab the building under the City of Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance. The rehab planning is ongoing and the clinic anticipates a closing in the third or fourth quarter of 2021.
18th & Wabash Corporation – The Studios
The 18th & Wabash Corporation engaged the clinic to close on a new source of project rental assistance from the Illinois Housing Development Authority for its 170-unit, supportive housing development known as The Studios. The clinic negotiated the subsidy documents, prepared closing deliverables, and successfully closed on the transaction in February.
In addition to the projects described above, the clinic served additional clients through counseling and advice on property management issues, resident services issues, nonprofit tax compliance, nonprofit governance, financing structuring, site evaluation, and leasing structures. Community organizations receiving the clinic’s advice and counsel on these matters included Community Male Empowerment Project, Sol House Cooperative, Chatham Park Village Cooperative, Qumbya Co-op, Voice of the People of Uptown, Liberty Temple Church, and Saint John Temple Community Development Corporation, among others.