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Community Development


Spur community-led development in disinvested neighborhoods and create community wealth by creating and expanding business and housing opportunities, including revitalizing vacant land, renovating vacant buildings, ETOD investments and other community wealth building strategies.


Recent Updates

Awarded CRP funding to over 100 neighborhood businesses and local developers to fund rehabilitation, new construction, and small business expansion projects.

Cleaned and greened vacant lots in high violence areas to improve neighborhood conditions.

Marketing 2,000 City-owned vacant lots for sale under ChiBlockBuilder, a new centralized and transparent land sale platform to advertise available City-owned properties for sale.

10,000 City-owned vacant lots reviewed for initial environmental conditions; of which 4,500 were found ready for sale or use.

Conducting community engagement sessions and providing support for residents in completing land sale applications.

Passed the Connected Communities Ordinance (the City’s Equitable Transit Oriented Development, or ETOD, program to intentionally add affordable housing near public transit).

Up Next

Begin detailed environmental review of the 5,000 parcels that were not ready for sale to understand requirements to put into productive use.

Begin environmental remediation efforts on key open space projects to ensure residents have safe spaces for recreation and community building.

Provide technical assistance to grassroots groups advancing ETOD projects and support the development of businesses near transit lines.

Provide planning & pre-development grants and technical assistance to organizations leading community wealth building projects (e.g. worker cooperatives, limited-equity housing cooperatives, community land trusts, community investment vehicles).

Prior to the Chicago Recovery Plan’s Community Development Grant, PODER planned a phased construction approach that would require conversion of a $2 million construction loan to a traditional mortgage upon completion. Interest payments…would have cost PODER $3 million over 15 years. Thanks to the City of Chicago’s investment, PODER HQ is now fully funded, and these dollars will instead be invested into our programs and the Gage Park community. The PODER HQ will be a community hub and an anchoring agency for the 55th St. corridor. It will be a safe place to gather outside – with farmer’s markets, health fairs, and business expos – with indoor access to immigrant integration services including mental health, legal and job training and career placement.

Daniel Loftus | PODER Learning Center


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