Skip to main content

Boston-based affordable housing nonprofit expands its Chicago footprint

April 17, 2019


April 16, 2019 01:38 PM

Lisa Bertagnoli 

Preservation of Affordable Housing, a Boston-based nonprofit, has paid $24 million for six senior housing buildings in Harvey, South Chicago and the South Side of Chicago. The organization bought the buildings from the YMCA of Metro Chicago. The Y says it will keep its three affordable housing buildings on the North Side, and use proceeds from the sale to help fund its youth-development programs.

POAH expanded to Chicago in 2008 with the purchase of Grove Parc Plaza in Woodlawn. It developed Woodlawn's new Jewel-Osco store, which opened on the old Grove Parc site March 7. With the purchase of the YMCA buildings, it now has about 1,200 affordable housing apartments in the Chicago area, and plans to close on about 400 more in the next month or two, says William Eager, vice president for POAH in Chicago. Eager says that the organization overall holds about $1 billion in real-estate assets, adding up to about 12,000 apartments in 11 states and Washington, DC. 

POAH will honor the existing leases at the building, and over time, spend $5 million to $6 million rehabbing each building, Eager says. The apartments, which are "in very good shape," he says, will get new lighting, plumbing and HVAC units. The apartment buildings will receive upgraded common areas and mechanical systems, and repairs to exterior masonry, roofing and glazing. The elevators will also be modernized and updated. Eager says residents will be able to stay in the buildings as they are being rehabbed. 

Cook County has about 181,000 fewer affordable-housing units than people who need them, according to a 2018 study from DePaul University's Institute for Housing Studies.