From Multi-Housing News:
The U.S. is short more than 7 million homes for extremely low-income renters, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition. And this gap, calculated using data from the 2019 American Community Survey, has only grown over the past year due to the economic hardship created—or, in many cases, exacerbated—by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cities need more affordable housing, and while there’s no single solution to the problem, co-location has emerged as a strategy that has proven successful in getting new projects financed and built.
What form might these projects take? Pairing affordable apartments with public libraries has been a popular combination, and one that our firm, Evergreen Real Estate Group, has had success within Chicago. In partnership with the city, Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Public Library, we developed a pair of co-located library/affordable housing developments, each with 44 apartments for seniors, who, along with disabled individuals, account for nearly half of extremely low-income renter households, according to NLIHC.
Completed in 2019, these projects have been a win-win for the community. Neighbors welcomed the new library, and residents of the connected housing continue to benefit from social and educational opportunities that might not otherwise be accessible. This is especially true for seniors, who can avoid isolation through regular programming while enjoying access to computers, books and other library services and events.
Read Multi-Housing News' article "The Benefits of Co-Location for Affordable Housing," featuring the Chicago Housing Authority.