An apartment building in the South Shore neighborhood on Dec. 6, 2021. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

SOUTH SHORE — A pilot program to support condo owners and cooperative housing residents in South Shore will roll out in the coming weeks, city housing officials announced Thursday.

The South Shore Condo/Co-Op Preservation Fund will provide grants for homeowners to repair their units in shared-ownership housing. It will also offer a mix of long-term loan and grant funds to homeowner associations for building maintenance.

The preservation fund will be piloted at 6931-39 S. Crandon Ave., where a mix of loan and grant money will be offered to repair the building and stabilize its homeowner association’s finances, officials said.

An ordinance authorizing funds for the building is expected to be introduced next month.

The fund “will protect the families and homeowners who already live there so they can not only remain in their home, but access needed repairs and maintenance,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.

With the Obama Presidential Center’s construction in Jackson Park, local leaders and residents have repeatedly said the city must support condos, co-ops and other forms of shared-ownership housing to prevent displacement in South Shore.

“It is imperative that we preserve condominium and co-op buildings in South Shore — buildings that provide homeownership opportunities for residents to build generational wealth,” Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) said.

In spring 2021, Hairston said it’s “imperative” any housing preservation effort in the densely populated neighborhood prioritizes improvements to the existing housing stock and assistance to condo associations and seniors.

“Each community has unique housing needs, and in South Shore, we have heard loud and clear the need to ensure that longtime condo and co-op owners can stay in the community and continue to build wealth through affordable homeownership,” housing Commissioner Marisa Novara said.

The South Shore preservation fund will be supported by the housing department’s Troubled Buildings Initiative and the Chicago Community Loan Fund.

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