LOGAN SQUARE — A nonprofit developer is getting $2 million in federal funds to convert a Logan Square church into affordable apartments.
LUCHA was one of 10 developers and community organizations awarded funding from Congress with support from Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García, according to a news release.
The funds will be used to convert the nearly 100-year-old Humboldt Park Methodist Church at 2122 N. Mozart St. into 22 affordable apartments, a project aimed at combating gentrification-fueled displacement in Logan Square.
“Affordable housing is a human right. That’s the work LUCHA does, and to have affordable housing be part of the federal budget in this way is incredibly meaningful,” LUCHA Executive Director Lissette Castañeda said. “It really says that for our communities, this is what’s important, and our elected officials are listening to us.”
The financial support is a step forward for the project, which has been in the works since 2020.
Church leaders teamed up with LUCHA to redevelop the church after deciding to move the congregation. The church is home to 11 affordable apartments run by the congregation, and church leaders want a developer to carry on their affordable housing work.
LUCHA plans to renovate the church’s existing apartments and convert the church’s sanctuary and fellowship space into 10 more apartments for a total of 22 units. The church’s exterior would mostly remain as-is, Castañeda said.
The apartments — a mix of studios and one-, two- and three-bedrooms — would only be available to renters who meet the city’s requirements under the Affordable Requirements Ordinance. Green space would be added to the right side of the building for families to enjoy, Castañeda said.
“The residents that are there continue to be folks who are paying lower than market-rate rents. This is among the many reasons this project matters to us. We want to make sure those families are not displaced,” Castañeda said.
The City Council approved the project in December 2020.
Castañeda said the development proposal has not changed since then, and the only thing left to do is come up with enough funding to bring the $11 million project to life.
In addition to the $2 million in federal funds, development officials have secured $2 million from the 2019 state capital budget, Castañeda said. They’re also working on bringing in additional funding from the city, she said.
The Humboldt Park Methodist Church project is one of several community-based projects getting federal funds thanks to García, who represents Illinois’ 4th congressional district.
St. Anthony Hospital also received $923,000 for a campus in Little Village, and Brighton Park Neighborhood Council received about $1 million to build a community center.
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