Latin United Community Housing Association Receives $4.7 for Affordable Housing

BMO Harris Bank has extended a $4.7 million construction loan to the Latin United Community Housing Association to provide renovations on the Borinquen Bella Apartments.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Writer

Chicago—BMO Harris Bank has extended a $4.7 million construction loan to the Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA), an NFP developer, to provide renovations on the Borinquen Bella Apartments.

The four existing multi-unit residential buildings will be known as Borinquen Bella L.P. and the funding will preserve 47 units of existing, affordable rental housing for low income families in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of the West Town community on the northwest side of Chicago.

“This project presents a great opportunity for BMO Harris bank to preserve units of affordable housing in the Humboldt Park community,” Steve Quasny, Managing Director of Sales, Community Development Lending, BMO Harris Bank, tells MHN. “The project consists of renovating 47 units and will allow families to remain in the buildings and community in which they have been raising their families, maintaining friendships and will allow children to continue their education in the same schools.”

Renovations will provide finishes that are typical of most new apartment complexes in the market, and will include updates to common areas of the property as well as updates to kitchens and bathrooms, updated lighting, plumbing, new doors, appliances and refinished wood floors.

“Each unit will also be wired for Internet access, which will allow families with school children to access the Internet for studies,” Quasny says.

As a result of the financing provided by BMO Harris Bank, and that provided by its financing partners—City of Chicago, Illinois Housing Development Authority and the National Equity Fund—47 families earning 50 percent or less of the area median income will continue to have safe, affordable housing.

“The City of Chicago continues to be challenged by a shortage of quality affordable housing,” Quasny says. “As government resources continue to become scarce in the current economy, renovating existing units is an efficient way to maintain affordability in all our communities.”

LUCHA has been active in the community for decades and knows the housing needs of its community. BMO Harris Bank has worked successfully with LUCHA on two prior affordable housing projects dating back to the early 1990s.  One was a 10-unit project and the second was a 36-unit project.

“This project, as well as another new construction project nearby closed with BMO Harris bank financing, will bring quality housing and stability to the Humboldt park community,” Quasny says.

He adds that the company works hard to provide funding for projects that promote affordable housing, economic development, education, job creation and neighborhood development/stabilization, often through low income housing tax credits and new markets tax credits.

“We continue to be focused on our role in creating/ preserving affordable housing and job creation in all the communities in which we do business,” Quasny says. “Through our community development lending and investment groups, we work closely with community leaders and local government to develop and maintain communities.”

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