Vacant, deteriorated, and saddled with unpaid tax liens, a masonry two-flat on the 6500 block of South St. Lawrence presented a host of challenges to the neighborhood. But homeowner Kendrick Durer saw the potential. "I knew right away when I saw it," Mr. Durer explained, "that I could make this my own."
Mr. Durer is just one of 29 new homebuyers revitalizing the Woodlawn community through Renew Woodlawn, a homeownership initiative led by CIC, Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (NHS), and the Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH).
CIC's involvement in this property is just part of its longtime commitment and investment in the Woodlawn community. Since 2002, CIC has invested $22.7 million in 174 properties with almost 2,000 units in Woodlawn through its lending and direct intervention on distressed properties.
|Homeowner Kendrick Durer purchased his property from CIC in March 2017 using mortgage financing from Neighborhood Lending Services. Rehab was completed in December 2017. Photo by Gordon Walek.
For Mr. Durer's home, the journey from vacant and blighted to rehabbed and move-in ready was made possible by the close collaboration between local government and nonprofit lenders and community development groups. It began in 2014, when CIC was serving as court-appointed receiver for a neighboring building.
CIC had already intervened on a number of vacant properties on the block, and identified this distressed building as a potential candidate for rehab by an owner-investor. CIC referred this new property to the City of Chicago's housing court, where it was determined to be abandoned as a result of a potential condominium fraud.