Seniors are the nation’s largest and fastest growing population. Many are on fixed incomes, and in need of quality affordable housing. At POAH, creating and preserving housing opportunities for all incomes, especially those most at risk, is very important.
Emil Jones Senior Housing is 60 units of Section 8-supported senior housing serving very low-income households. The YMCA of Metro Chicago originally built the project in 2003; it is one of five sites we purchased from the Y in 2019. The YMCA was ready to sell these properties and we wanted to make sure they stayed affordable.
Emil Jones presented an opportunity for us to venture into West Roseland, which is a new neighborhood for us in Chicago. It is great to be able to keep people in their own communities; this is the only subsidized affordable housing project in the census tract. West Roseland is a walkable neighborhood, with public transit a few blocks away from Emil Jones.
Our seniors are very active. Of course, there is a resident services coordinator who organizes trips and activities for them. They play bingo, they knit together, and there is an onsite library with a great selection of books. These aren’t cookie-cutter solutions; we have someone overseeing all our Chicago properties to make sure that each residential coordinator has the tools they need to help their specific tenant population.
As a nonprofit developer we are always competing for property with for-profit developers. It is important for us to have access to capital to acquire properties that are currently affordable so as to extend the life of affordability. The acquisition loan with BlueHub provided that additional capital for the Emil Jones property.
Our Boston office has a long-standing relationship with BlueHub and referred us to them. Even though we needed several extensions, the acquisition process went really smoothly.