CHICAGO (CBS) – Community leaders gathered in West Garfield Park on Saturday for the grand opening of a new affordable housing building slated to open next year.
Jackie Kostek of CBS 2 reports that the pandemic appears to have only increased demand for affordable housing.
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A church leader has said that by next year, vacant land in West Garfield Park will house a brand new affordable housing project called CARE Manor. And when you talk about the demand for affordable housing in Chicago right now, construction hasn’t even started on the 43-unit building, and the waiting list is already growing.
“We’ve been working, just praying, planning and organizing for this moment,” said David Todd Whittley, pastor of Corinthian Temple Church of God in Christ and president of his social service agency United for Better Living.
For Whittley, Saturday’s inauguration lasted four years.
He said that with funding from the city and the National Equity Fund, the organization will soon begin construction of a $ 19 million affordable housing project; 43 units, mainly two and three bedrooms.
“We already have a long waiting list because we have talked about it,” he said.
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This demand for affordable housing is not just in West Garfield Park, but across the city. So says Bill Eager, who heads the Chicago branch of a nonprofit affordable housing organization.
“There is always a need for more. We are unfortunately at several thousand units to meet all the needs, ”he said.
Eager said the biggest barrier to meeting demand is resources. But between Governor JB Pritzker who recently allocated more than $ 70 million for affordable housing and the spending proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot, he says the time has come for hope and optimism.
“I think it’s good for the neighborhoods. I think this reflects their recognition that building affordable housing is not only good for people who need affordable housing, it is good for investment in the neighborhood, ”said Eager.
Emma Moore, future resident of CARE Manor, says the opportunity to live in a whole new space is a prayer answered.
“I always tell the Lord when I pray I ask God to bless me with something new. It was a lot more places I could have gone, but the Lord never guided me there, and I want something new, ”said Moore.
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The building is expected to be completed sometime in 2022.