Innovative Partnership in Chicago Creates New Loan Product to Create and Preserve Affordable Housing Units

Welcome to fall! As you might have noticed, we often use this space to highlight interesting work in which our buyers are involved, and we’re pleased to share news about a great partnership in Chicago established to help preserve more affordable housing.

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard just released a study highlighting that the typical sale price of an existing single-family home in 2017 was 4.2 times greater than the median household income. What that means is working families are struggling to pay mortgages or rent because their incomes are not keeping pace with the cost of housing. In Chicago, between 2000 and 2015, average rents increased more than 60 percent, forcing low-income residents to leave the city in search of cheaper housing.

Community Investment Corporation (CIC) is doing something about that.  Over the past two years, The Preservation Compact and CIC, in partnership with the City of Chicago and other government and private lender partners, have developed the new fund and loan product to create and preserve affordable units in strong housing markets.

JP Morgan Chase provided seed funding to launch the Chicago Opportunity Investment Fund at CIC, which in its pilot stage preserved 91 units of mixed-income housing, of which 20 are dedicated as affordable units.

In 2017, CIC provided a record $70 million in loans and grants to help acquire, rehab and preserve over 1,900 affordable multifamily housing and commercial units. These units were located in 32 neighborhoods and municipalities throughout the Chicago region, primarily concentrated in Chicago’s South and West sides. Nearly all units were affordable to households with incomes less than $40,000. Through its lending products and complementary programs, CIC directly affected over 7,800 units of Chicago-area affordable housing in 2017.

“CIC has purchased almost 400 properties through NCST, historically 50% ownership and 50% rental; however, our current goal is to get to 60% ownership and 40% rental,” noted Andre Collins, vice president, acquisitions and dispositions strategy for CIC. “We work with 30 to 40 developers at any one time, but have interacted with over 150 developers, encouraging them to invest in blocks they would typically pass over. For CIC, mission accomplished means repositioning, reoccupying and revitalizing – concentrating on both rental and homeownership often times starting with rental.”

Below are two Chicago homes acquired and rehabbed by CIC which now provide affordable housing opportunities.

CIC invested more than $96,000 in rehab for this owner-occupant property.
This home is near East Chatham, a middle-class community that fared better than many of its south side neighbors after the housing crisis. Bolstered by strong community organizations and churches, Chatham has weathered market fluctuations, offers a wide range of housing options, and is a destination for first-time homebuyers.



For this renter-occupied property, CIC spent $55,000 in its rehab.
This affordable, fully rehabbed rental property is on Chicago’s Southwest side, in the Chicago Lawn community. This strong working class neighborhood is very racially and culturally diverse. The residential housing stock features classic Chicago bungalows, as well as other well-crafted single family and 2-flat homes. Marquette Park is a treasured resource for the community.


Dawn Stockmo serves as a Community Development Director, Midwest U.S., for NCST.