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La Shone Kelly and Max Herrera, MMRP grant recipient

Housing Specialist La Shone Kelly (right) with MMRP grant recipient Max Herrera. La Shone assisted Max to purchase his first home in West Garfield Park.

Photo: Qa'Bah Rahsaan

The centerpiece of GPCC housing efforts has been the Garfield Park Housing Center, which focuses on landlord/tenant issues as well as foreclosure prevention initiatives in partnership with city-wide housing organizations. Since 2010, the Housing Center has assisted 1,216 landlords and tenants and offered 30 workshops attended by 896 concerned property managers and tenants on topics ranging from bedbugs to security.  The Housing Center has also helped almost 700 families faced with renting an apartment in a foreclosed property, providing counseling and legal assistance through a partnership with the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing. 

During the economic downturn in the last decade, housing investment in Garfield Park stalled an emerging market in Garfield Park, and the GPCC focused on supporting homeowners and tenants dealing with issues related to foreclosure. As with many other Chicago neighborhoods, foreclosures have led to large numbers of vacant and deteriorating buildings and lots, magnets for drugs and crime.  According to the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, 22% of East Garfield Park and 19% of West Garfield Park occupied rental properties were impacted by foreclosure between 2009 and 2011, representing a total of 1,930 of 9,590 units.  

In 2012, the GPCC was chosen by the City of Chicago to lead work under the Micro Market Recovery Program (MMRP) in Garfield Park. MMRP targets blighted and abandoned properties that negatively affect the neighborhood by helping existing homeowners in danger of foreclosure, putting vacant buildings back into productive use, and identifying programming to combat the physical, social and economic conditions that result from large numbers of foreclosures in one community. MMRP is led by the GPCC's Housing Specialist, who is helping integrate the MMRP process into the GPCC’s existing efforts, using it as a tool to organize and train new resident advocates and leaders and a means of helping to restart the housing market in Garfield Park. 

Visit our Housing Resources page for more information about the MMRP in West Garfield Park, housing court dates, homeownership, and property research.   

To connect with our staff team contact Housing Specialist La Shone Kelly:

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