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Affordable housing for Lincoln Park

Lakeview Action Coalition will unveil plans for Lincoln Park’s first affordable housing initiative in decades at its annual assembly Sunday.

More than 700 members of churches and other LAC affiliates are expected to meet with elected officials — including Congressman Danny Davis, State Senate President John Cullerton, County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and several aldermen — on Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Church, 2335 N. Orchard.

Ald. Michele Smith and McCafferey Interests, developers of the Children’s Memorial Hospital site at Fullerton and Halsted, have agreed to include affordable housing requirements beyond the legal minimum in a planned development agreement for the property, LAC organizers said.

How far beyond remains under discussion.  LAC is pushing for 200 units with rents ranging below 40 percent and up to 120 percent of the metropolitan median, in order to house seniors as well as  neighborhood teachers and retail workers.

The best way to maximize affordable housing is to use the Nellie Black building at Orchard and Fullerton, an organizer said.  The 1931 red brick and masonry structure, built in 1931 to house nurses and interns, is one of six historic buildings on the site that Preservation Chicago has called for preserving.

In addition to affordable housing, LAC and the Children’s Memorial Redevelopment Coalition have called for an open planning process, adaptive reuse of historic structures, and sustainable design.

McCafferey has described the 6-acre project as creating a “town center” with multi-income housing, retail, and open space, and has been meeting with neighborhood groups.  Children’s Memorial Hospital is moving to a new facility in Streeterville this summer.

Other topics on Sunday’s agenda include legislation to close corporate loopholes, which LAC has been pressing Cullerton to back, and to require charity care at nonprofit hospitals, which Preckwinkle is endorsing.  Local aldermen will address police accountability for mistreatment of transgender detainees.

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Category: development, housing, preservation

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