Originally built in the 1900s, the Covent Hotel features single resident occupancy (SRO) housing as well as retail storefronts on the ground level. Covent Hotel is in Lincoln Park, one of Chicago’s most sought after neighborhoods that has limited affordable housing availability– median home prices are near $475,000 and the typical 1-bedroom rents for around $1,500.
Increased demand for affordable housing coupled with limited supply led the City of Chicago to pass the SRO Ordinance to help maintain the amount of SRO’s available in the city. The SRO preservation law requires building owners who want to sell their properties to first try to find a buyer to maintain the affordable housing status.
This is where the NHP Foundation (NHPF), a national nonprofit dedicated to preserving and creating sustainable, service-enriched multifamily housing, stepped in. With the help of a $2.2 million pre-development loan from CDFI Chicago Community Loan Fund, NHPF was able to acquire the Covent Hotel and maintain it as an SRO, preserving 30 affordable housing units and 7 tenant businesses in an area with rapidly rising home prices and rents.
(Date of loan: 2016. Date of story publication: May 2017)