Heart of Uptown Apartment Project

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Project Overview

The Heart of Uptown Apartments Project (HUPA) comprises five buildings, with 103 leased homes, two-thirds of them are family-sized units, that have been owned/sponsored by Voice of the People in Uptown for decades. Voice is a community-based, tenant-controlled organization of nearly 56 years, whose mission is to empower residents with engagement in community development and collaborative services.

The buildings are located at 847 W. Sunnyside, 900 W. Windsor, 927 W. Wilson, 4437 N. Clifton and 4130 N. Kenmore. All are within a half mile in the Uptown community, accessible to bus and train transportation, with two included in Sheridan Park and Buena Park neighborhood historic districts. These apartment-homes are occupied by Individuals and families that are very low-income. This affordable housing will be preserved with rehab of up to $150,000 per unit planned to start in late 2024, which will include building systems upgrades, energy conservation measures, apartment redecorating, modernization and accessibility features – which are so critical to accommodate changing needs of residents over time.

Partners & Services Supporting the Project

Voice has a historical relationship with residents, many of them aging or members of multi-generational families.  Voice has operated buildings with the help of different partners and property managers over time — most recently with Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) and its affiliates.  POAH has a national reputation as a non-profit organization. It was chosen as Voice’s general partner for their record and expertise in development and property management. Voice is an active community partner with them, having a long-term stake in sustaining affordability, delivering resident support services, and engaging with POAH in development and property management planning and evaluation.

Voice’s historical emphasis on community and tenant organizing has been enhanced in recent years in the “Resident Opportunity Services” program, where a staff team facilitates voluntary social service programming and economic assistance efforts, and supports family goal setting and civic engagement. This programming is especially important in the renovation of developments like HUPA, where POAH and Voice garners resident input into project planning, implements policy of “Development Without Displacement”, and provides social services and problem solving assistance related to contracted temporary relocation services during the renovation of apartments.

Sources & Plans for Support

The HUPA buildings have aging systems and heavy maintenance requirements that are due for upgrade. A closing and commencement of rehab and recapitalization anticipated in late 2024.  The buildings were originally funded with critical support from the “Wilson Yards” Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, made possible by Uptown’s former alderperson and Voice advisor, Helen Shiller.  The five buildings were last developed as two projects – the Sunnyside-Kenmore and Uptown Preservation Apartments partnerships.  The new, combined  HUPA Development will utilize low-income housing tax credits, City support via CDBG and HOME Programs, and Tax Increment Financing made possible with support from our local alderwoman and former Voice tenant, Angela Clay.