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President Preckwinkle, Mayor Christopher J. Clark Join Harvey Residents to Celebrate Preservation and Renovation of Crucial Senior Housing Officials see housing as good first completion of multimillion dollar investments being made in Harvey Renewal

March 30, 2023

Ribbon cutting group

Harvey, Illinois: “It is clearly a new – and better – day in Harvey” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, speaking at a ribbon cutting at an affordable senior building. “After years of disinvestment, what is happening today in Harvey is just cause for celebration – of what has been accomplished and what is soon to come,” said Preckwinkle. “I commend Mayor Christopher J. Clark and his staff for their commitment and leadership.”

President Preckwinkle’s remarks were made at an event celebrating the $32 million acquisition and renovation of the 120-apartment South Suburban Senior Apartments in the city’s downtown “TOD” district. Long owned and operated by the Metropolitan Chicago YMCA until 2019, when the Y announced it was selling much of its housing portfolio, many feared the building and affordable housing would be lost. Instead, Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH), one of the nation’s leading affordable housing preservation nonprofits, purchased the 155th Street building and two other Harvey properties, which also will undergo renovation soon.

According to Mayor Clark, the preservation and upgrading of senior and affordable housing could not have been done without the partnerships represented here today.   “While we have great ideas, it is our partnership with the County, State, the federal government and our for- and non-profit partners that make progress and success possible - in housing, public safety, and every other realm impacting the quality of life of Harvey residents.”

Mayor Clark was speaking of the City’s new Transit Oriented Development (TOD) plan for downtown Harvey, that targets the following 5 projects, now funded and under construction:

  • POAH’s $32 million investment in housing
  • A new-construction 51-apartment transit-oriented housing development
  • the Harvey Transportation Center, which will serve Pace and Metra
  • new infill housing, and
  • “Complete Streets” roadway improvements for safer pedestrian, bike, and commuter connections

In addition, the mayor spoke of the exciting potential of the new partnership with the County and the Southland Development Authority to revive Harvey as the regional hub of metals, machinery, and equipment manufacturers.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle spoke of POAH’s investment and Mayor Clark’s plan as part of a renaissance in the south suburbs. “For too long, the Southland has faced historical disinvestment and been viewed as the sum of its challenges,” said President Preckwinkle. “At Cook County, we see it as the sum of its assets – great transportation to all corners of the nation, large tracts of useable space, a skilled workforce, new leadership in Mayor Clark, the list goes on – and we are committed to transforming the South Suburbs int a place where everyone has the chance to thrive.”

POAH vice president Bill Eager closed the event by speaking of the future. “Whether it is celebrating the completion of another housing renovation or the opening of the Harvey Transportation Center, we will be there, knowing that we are more than our transactions; rather we are a partner in an exciting and long-needed revival.”   

In 2019 POAH acquired the 120-apartment complex as part of a six-building senior portfolio from the YMCA that includes two other affordable housing properties in Harvey. Financial assistance for the $15 million renovation is provided by Cook County, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, and CREA, a tax credit investor. Renovation included upgrades to all the apartments’ kitchens and baths, new electric heating and cooling systems, new copper plumbing fixtures, cosmetic improvements to corridors and commons spaces, and greater accessibility of common spaces and an upgraded security system. As a result, residents of South Suburban Apartments now enjoy safer living spaces and all in Harvey can celebrate shrinking the building’s carbon footprint through a 20 percent reduction in electric and natural gas energy usage. 

Also attending the event were Diane M. Shelley, HUD Regional Administrator, Bo Kemp, Executive Director of the Southland Development Authority, representatives of Skender Construction which led the rehab work; staff of POAH Communities, POAH’s affiliate, that will serve as property manager and building residents.