The Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) Board of Commissioners approved a major contract in September guaranteeing project rental assistance vouchers for the 3600 N. Halsted development in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The site will serve as one of the nation’s first affordable housing developments meant to benefit the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) seniors, This approval was awarded under the Housing Choice Voucher Program, which helps Chicago residents rent privately owned housing. This CHA contract was necessary for the project to be financially sustainable. Tenants will be referred from both the citywide housing choice voucher waitlist and the Lakeview Community Area waitlist and will allow applicants to choose housing with an affinity to the LGBT community.
Currently, plans are under way to construct a 79-unit apartment building at the northwest
corner of Halsted and Addison streets, considered the center of the city’s LGBT community, Alderman Tom Tunney has been working alongside Heartland Housing – a division of
Heartland Alliance, Chicago’s largest anti-poverty organization – and Center on Halsted to
develop the former historic 23rd District Town Hall District police station and construction of a new 6-story building in the adjacent city-owned land at 3600 N. Halsted, The six-floor building will contain studio and one-bedroom apartments, with a spacious community room, covered parking spaces, an outdoor patio and approximately 6,000 sq ft of retail space. Seniors living in the building will be connected to supportive services and community building activities provided by the Center on Halsted which is located next door.
“Those on fixed incomes face a lot of challenges when it comes to securing safe and affordable housing,” said Michael Goldberg, Executive Director of Heartland Housing, a division of Heartland Alliance, the leading anti-poverty organization in the Midwest. “We are so pleased to have the CHA’s commitment, and that 100% of the units will be dedicated to those seniors who have little or no income. It supports our mission and values that everyone–especially our seniors, including those who may be lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender–deserve a safe and affordable place to live.”
“This is historic for the city of Chicago and the entire Midwest,” said Alderman Tunney. “This facility will be one of the first in the nation and it is dedicated to meeting the needs of the LGBT community. This will be a destination where our seniors can have a safe and accepting environment to live their lives with pride and confidence. “Housing at the 3600 N. Halsted development will be open to all seniors 55 and older who qualify for the voucher program. All housing decisions at the property will be made in accordance with the Fair Housing Act and without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. This project which has been years in the making is slated to begin construction in by the end of the year with occupancy expected to open in fall 2014.