Lake County housing development financed through Regional Housing Initiative wins Gail Cincotta Award
Courtesy Brinshore Development LLC
Brinshore Development is the developer of the award-winning A Safe Place II in Lake County, as well as Emerson Square in Evanston, Ill. (rendering above), both of received financing support through the Regional Housing Initiative.
- By David Brint, CEO, Brinshore Development
- April 23, 2012
At the Illinois Governor’s Housing Conference on April 16, Noelle Moore, executive director of A Safe Place—a Chicago-based nonprofit that supports women and children who have experienced domestic violence—accepted the Gail Cincotta Award for A Safe Place II, the organization's first permanent housing community. The Lake County development was financed in part through the Regional Housing Initiative (RHI), which provides financial incentives, via operating subsidies, to developers and owners of quality rental housing.
Representing Brinshore Development, LLC, the company that served as the developer to this terrific nonprofit, I am honored that A Safe Place II has been recognized as a model for "innovation and excellence in affordable housing." It truly is a terrific example of quality housing and services for very low-income women and children who have weathered domestic violence. A Safe Place II provides a secure, nurturing environment for women to recover and raise their children—a compelling mission, and certainly one worthy of an award named in honor of one of Chicago's leading advocates for community development, fair lending, and neighborhood renewal.
Established in 1994, Brinshore Development is an innovative real estate company specializing in the development of residential communities that foster conservation, collaboration and affordability. Brinshore has undertaken dozens of developments, from large-scale master planned communities to the restoration of meticulously preserved historic properties.
Financing developments like A Safe Place II is often complex, and a number of financing tools and resources were necessary to write this success story. The Regional Housing Initiative (RHI)—managed by the Metropolitan Planning Council in coordination with eight public housing authorities, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, and a range of other partners—is one such example. For most any low-income family trying to re-establish themselves, rental support is vital. However, in the case of abused women, removing the burden of how they'll put a roof over their heads and shelter their children is essential for them to leave an abusive situation and heal. By providing operating subsidies to help keep rents low at A Safe Place II, RHI provides this support.
Today’s economy poses a number of competing challenges for developers. On one hand, this weak housing market means that household and community needs are greater than ever, and innovation is essential. On the other hand, financing sources are more scarce and credit availability less certain. In addition to these realities, our region continues to demand housing affordable for families with varying income levels and needs.
The operating subsidies provided by RHI—thanks to project-based vouchers pooled by the participating housing authorities to support developments that comply with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Housing Endorsement Criteria —are key to the bottom-line stability of A Safe Place II and other developments. While financing for affordable housing development is a competitive and complex process, the Regional Housing Initiative streamlined its application with larger, state financing applications (including the Illinois Low-Income Housing Tax Credit application) to make it easier for developers like Brinshore to apply for resources that address demands in traditionally underserved communities.
As a developer, I look at underserved communities in two ways. There are the households warranting housing and services, but there are also the towns needing new development, or redevelopment, to address local demands. For us, RHI has helped on both fronts, serving as a financing source for both A Safe Place II, as well as Emerson Square in Evanston, Cook County. I look forward to providing additional needed homes in welcoming communities and celebrating future groundbreakings and ribbon-cuttings, thanks to RHI support.