New resources available to expand Project Opportunity for developers and owners - Metropolitan Planning Council

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New resources available to expand Project Opportunity for developers and owners

To provide financial incentives and other support to developers and landlords who rent small properties to families using Housing Choice Vouchers in target neighborhoods, Project Opportunity partners received another round of funding to offer services to both tenants and property owners.

It's not rocket science, but  successful affordable housing does require attention to many variables:  financing, location, design, management, tenant services and more.

Project Opportunity is a pilot loan program structured especially for independent developers and investors willing to purchase single family homes, (minimum 3-bedroom) in opportunity areas of suburban Cook County, and rent them to Housing Choice Voucher holders. Units must remain affordable for a minimum of 15 years. Opportunity areas are defined as areas in suburban Cook County with a minority population of less than 13% and a poverty population of less than 10%. 

Turnstone Development administers this program in conjunction with several public and private partners, including LaSalle Bank, Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), The Housing Authority of Cook County, Cook County Department of Planning, Lutheran Child and Family Services, and MPC. MPC's primary role is to ensure the properties selected meet the Housing Endorsement Criteria adopted by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission.

Turnstone Development  has structured the financing so that the investor provides only 10% instead of the customary 20% as equity.  LaSalle holds the first mortgage and finances (at market rate) up to 50% of the purchase price less the owner’s equity.  IHDA and the Cook County HOME Program provide loans at a 1% interest rate to finance the remaining loan amount.  There is an additional bonus of up to $5,000 provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) as a grant to cover closing costs and bank fees.

The families are specially qualified by completing an intensive training program on home maintenance and personal finance management administered by our partner Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois.

Since its creation in 2002, Project Opportunity has funded 20 units: 6  in Phase I and 14  in Phase II. Click here to view photos of the some of the properties that benefited from the program. Turnstone Development Corporation is currently looking for interested developers who are willing to participate in Project Opportunity’s Phase III.

A workshop for developers and investor interested in applying for Project Opportunity will be held on December 10. For information on this workshop, click here.

For more information on Project Opportunity, contact the Project Manager, Adonya Little, Lighten-Gale Group, 5225 S. Harper Ave., Suite H, Chicago, IL 60615, Phone:  (773) 667-6375, Fax:  (773) 667-6381,



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