Working with non-profit housing leaders Chicago Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation (CMHDC) and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), CU created a strategy they termed “Renters Organizing Ourselves to Stay.” Working with local and federal officials the alliance was able to gain the cooperation of Fannie Mae, the owner of many foreclosed properties, to make them available at a 30 percent discount. Enterprise and CMHDC stepped up with some of the financing (with no government subsidy), and CMHDC did the hard work of buying the buildings and rehabbing them for a price that would make rents affordable to working class tenants.

CMHDC had acquired 41 units in 18 buildings, occupied by about 200 residents. Rents are between 50 to 80 percent of market rates, with the average family expected to save more than $2,300 per unit when compared to market rate counterparts.

These images are from the project at 3333 Pensacola.