MacArthur announced three grants totaling $1.15 million to promote the success of Chicago’s new mixed- income communities by providing services to residents.  These grants are part of the Foundation’s $50 million commitment to support Chicago’s ambitious plan to transform public housing from isolated high-rise developments into vibrant, mixed-income communities.

“Housing is not simply about buildings; it’s about people,” said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton.  “Transforming public housing offers an historic opportunity to revitalize city neighborhoods and improve the lives of thousands of residents.” 

The Abraham Lincoln Centre and the Field Museum’s Center for Cultural Understanding and Change will each receive $375,000 to work with the developers of Lake Park Crescent, a new mixed-income development on the city’s South Side, to provide services such as child care and financial planning workshops to community residents.  The Abraham Lincoln Centre will use the funding to provide case management services to low- and moderate-income families residing in the development.  The Center for Cultural Understanding and Change will promote programs and activities that bring together residents across income groups and connect them to community resources.

A grant of $400,000 will be awarded to the Illinois Facilities Fund to help plan and develop two new community centers in Chicago’s mid-South area.  One facility will serve Oakwood Shores, the new community of single family homes, town homes, condominiums and apartments taking shape on the site of the former Madden/Wells housing projects.  A site for the second facility, which will be larger and serve several neighborhoods, has not yet been selected. 

MacArthur has committed $50 million to support the transformation of Chicago’s public housing.  Funding supports community building and services at four key mixed-income communities; promotes economic development in neighborhoods where the Plan is underway; and supports research needed to improve programs, hold public officials accountable, and contribute to the body of knowledge about the impact of housing policy on people and communities. 

The Foundation took the lead in forming a partnership of civic leaders to provide additional support, including jobs, services, and employer-assisted housing programs.  The Partnership for New Communities, includes CEOs of universities, corporations, and foundations; and members of Chicago’s civic, corporate and faith communities. 

Community & Economic Development, Chicago, Community Development