Check out this recent article in the Sun Times about developing about 80 parcels of vacant land for affordable housing:
$1 parcels to go for affordable housing
REAL ESTATE | City close to sealing deal on the 80 South Side lots, most homes would have a base price of $195,000
August 5, 2009
DAVID ROEDER firstname.lastname@example.org
City officials are closing in on a deal to turn over more than 80 South Side parcels at a dollar each to seven builders. Each builder, in turn, has pledged to make the vacant lots the sites of new single-family homes, with most of them priced to meet a legal definition of affordability.
It’s part of a program for “green homes” as crafted by the city’s Department of Community Development. The builders commit to environmentally friendly practices in design, construction and selection of appliances.
Molly Sullivan, spokeswoman for the department, said most of the homes would be base priced at $195,000, which by the federal government’s rules is affordable based on median incomes in Chicago. For a four-person family, that means an annual income cap of $75,400. All homes would be two stories and have at least three bedrooms, she said.
The parcels are generally on Calumet from 3900 to 4900 south, Prairie from 4400 to 4800 south, the 400 block of east 46th Place and the 5200 and 5300 blocks of South Emerald. In legal notices about the proposed sales, the city set an Aug. 31 deadline for alternative offers. If none is received, the sales would then be approved.
One of the seven builders, Benjamin Van Horne, president of Greenline Development Inc., said he expects demand for the affordable units despite the moribund housing market. Market-rate homes will take awhile, he said, estimating they would be priced at $350,000.
Other builders in the program are Barron Development LLC, Bronze Key LLC, Click Development LLC, the Green House Association, Habitat Development South and Johnson Development Group LLC.