|Woodlawn Dev. (Chicago) Community Housing Project||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fred H Olson WB0YQM (fholsonmaroon.tc.umn.edu)|
|Date: Tue, 7 Nov 1995 17:37:06 -0600|
Levy N. Rivers <waldo [at] ais.net> aka Wellington Ave Local Development Org. walso [at] ais.net is the author of the message below but due to a listserv problem it was posted by the COHOUSING-L sysop (Fred). **************** FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS ********************* Woodlawn Development Associates Community Housing Project Draft of Concept August 30th, 1995 Introduction Woodlawn Development Associates (WDA) seeks to build urban community from the inside out by mobilizing the capacities of citizens of diverse backgrounds to reinvent neighborhood life together, building a community which is economically viable, socially nurturing, environmentally sustainable and physically safe and attractive. WDA works through its programs in housing development, economic development, community development and children and youth development, to accomplish this goal, utilizing bottom-up re sident planning, active collaboration with diverse individuals and organizations, professional project management and a meaningful process of community empowerment. WDA with its consultant/developer, the Wellington Avenue Local Development Organization (WALDO), is actively engaged in a feasibility analysis of a 22 unit mixed income CoHousing community on the 6300 block of Kimbark in north Woodlawn. The "Community Housing Project", will be interracial, intergenerational and interclass, with a target of 25% low-income and 25% senior residents, structured as a land trust and composed of rental and ownership units. The CoHousing Concept Exactly what is meant by "CoHousing" varies among particular CoHousing groups. Central to the concept of CoHousing is 1) resident participation in the development and life of the community and 2) shared living space, whether that be a common dining facility, child care area, workshop, laundry facility, recreation room, etc.. Several variations of ownership are possible, including condo, coop, and rental. The proposed mixed income CoHousing development in Woodlawn is intended to address the problems of lack of - affordable and safe housing; - diversity across income levels; - housing design to support "non-traditional" household structures, and - housing design which encourages the building of "community" and systems of support. Background of the Community Housing Project Sixteen years ago the Covenantal Community of University Church (CCUC) established a mixed income, mixed race, intentional living community located in a 21 unit court yard building at 61st Street and Woodlawn Avenue. The group is committed to participating in, building and reenforcing a sense of community within the neighborhood across racial and economic lines. Two years ago, in anticipation of the development of north central Woodlawn, a core group comprised of members from CCUC, University Church and the Woodlawn community made a decision to be active players in the redevelopment of north Woodlawn, to ensure the building of community without the exclusion of current residents, particularly those with limited incomes. The result was the formation of Woodlawn Development Associates, a 501(c)(3) corporation, with the mission of developing community in order to redevelop the neighborhood. WDA and WALDO - the Partnership WDA began working with WALDO in August of 1993, after engaging in a six month "partnering process" between the two groups. WALDO is a not-for-profit organization which provides technical services to community based groups in low income areas committed to creating jobs and building affordable housing. The partnering process entailed drafting a formal agreement among the partners describing their vision(s) and respective expectations and responsibilities. In the course of two years of weekly meetings, much progress has been made both in terms of developing a sense of trust and respect among the partners and in developing the organization, building staff and support. WDA - the People WDA has a board of directors composed of community leaders and residents from both Woodlawn and Hyde Park with proven track records of civic leadership and management abilities. Over half of WDA's board members reside in Woodlawn. Many have lived in the community for 16 or more years. To many, the Community Housing Project offers an opportunity to seek an affirming harmony of racial and ethnic diversity in one small part of a working class neighborhood of urban America. WDA focuses on people rather than structures; it is about building community; whether that be tending a garden, sponsoring a neighborhood Tai Chi class, presenting a seminar on rehab, or holding a 4th of July celebration. WDA's high aspirations bring constant challenges for its staff and Board members, as they strive to balance the need for patience and action, inclusiveness and efficiency, principals and practicalities in carrying out its mission. The Community Housing Project WDA's Community Housing project brings together individuals and families with varying levels of income and unites them through a common process of building "community", physically and otherwise. The project also builds the skills and abilities of all those involved in the core group's process of group building, decision-making and predevelopment. The impetus behind developing Mixed Income CoHousing is to strengthen connections and build systems of support between people through the use of group process and architectural design. Likewise the larger community benefits from having a stable, safe, supportive group of residents focused on the interests and promotion of the community. As such, the Community Housing Project is based on the key principals of: 1. Participatory Process: community members are involved in all stages of development with final responsibility, as a body, for all decision making; 2. Intentional Neighborhood Design: the physical design encourages a strong sense of community, balancing interests of private and social life; 3. Extensive Common Facilities: common facilities permit and foster strong bonds of community interaction and support; 4. Residential Self-Management - residents manage the community themselves. Stage of Development The properties envisioned for many years to be the site of the Community Housing Project, adjacent to CCUC, were unexpectedly purchased for higher income development, resulting in WDA's purchase of sites a few blocks south from this location. WDA is in the process of securing several adjacent sites (two sites were acquired at the recent scavenger sale) near Kimbark and 63rd Streets. Because site acquisition is not complete at this time and because the intent of the project is to include residents in plann ing and development, the specific development factors listed below are provided as one possibility for the project, based on years of discussion, but which will be refined as additional information is obtained and the participatory process expanded (additional details available in pro-forma): Site of Project: - 1.5 lots - Woodlawn, on Woodlawn near 63rd Street - City-owned - 3 lots adjacent to above, on Kimbark near 63rd Street - 2 in Tax Sale, 1 City-owned Physical Description of Project - 22 units, mixed ownership, rental with Land Trust -Architectural design, landscaping and layout will reflect Community Housing/CoHousing concept and encourage the building of community within the development and within the surrounding community - Mix of townhouses and multi-unit dwellings Financing - Financing will be obtained through a combination of funding sources including: private equity (including equity for owned units, donations, private loans from those living in/working with Woodlawn community and socially responsible investors from in and outside the area), Banks (Avondale, Harris, Independence, American National, etc.,) City of Chicago (New Homes for Chicago). We seek to minimize government subsidies to maximize flexibility in achieving goal of building a mixed income, race and age, cipatory community. In addition to private funds, this will be accomplished by reinvesting income derived from sale of market-rate housing, premium paid by homeowners on upkeep of property and creating a special tax district (TIF or sales tax).
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