CHICAGO (CBS) — Ten years after the housing crisis, the city of Chicago is pumping millions into a new affordable housing program.
City officials are focusing on six neighborhoods on the South Side and West Side with a new program to encourage construction of affordable housing units.
The city will invest about $5 million in a pilot program to encourage construction of about 100 affordable homes on now-vacant lots in Englewood, Lawndale, Woodlawn, Little Village, Garfield Park, and Humboldt Park.
Qualified homeowners will get subsidies of up to $60,000 to purchase homes built through the City Lots for Working Families program, which offers vacant lots to developers for the bargain price of $1 on the condition they build affordable homes.
The homes likely would be priced between $150,000 and $300,000.
Anyone who buys a home through the program must agree to use it as their primary residence for at least five years. The program is available to home buyers with an income of up to 140 percent of area median.
The six neighborhoods involved were chosen because housing prices in those areas often are not attractive to developers. By selling vacant land for next to nothing, the city hopes to spur more investment in the construction of single-family homes and two-flats meant for low-income families.