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Mayor Richard M. Daley today joined North Lawndale community leaders and residents for a ribbon-cutting ceremony opening the Dr. King Legacy Apartments, 45 units of affordable housing located at 1550 S. Hamlin Av., where the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King lived in 1966 while Chicago was his base of operations.
"This new development both demonstrates the city’s strong commitment to providing affordable and supportive housing for our residents who need it and honors the memory and legacy of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King,” Daley said.
Dr. King was assassinated 43 years ago today.
The City was a partner in the development with the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation through $6.5 million in loans and tax credits.
The Dr. King Legacy Apartments include 45 affordable, energy-efficient units of rental housing. Ten of the units will be set aside for Chicago Housing development voucher holders, and the development also includes commercial space on the ground floor, open green space and a number of sustainable features, including a partial green roof and the use of recycled materials in construction.
The apartments are located within the new 4-acre Martin Luther King Historic District, which is part of a larger effort to bring affordable housing and commercial development to North Lawndale. Ultimately, the district will include a new campus park, a new library, a job training center and the Martin Luther King Fair Housing Museum.
“It is developments like these that help our neighborhoods grow stronger, and demonstrate how working together we can collectively provide affordable housing and economic opportunities citywide,” Daley said.
The Mayor said that one of the things he is proudest of as Mayor is the City’s long-standing commitment to affordable housing.
He pointed out that:
- Since 1989, the City has invested more than $4.5 billion in local, state, federal, and private funds to create, improve and maintain more than 215,000 units of affordable housing for people of modest means
- Since 2006, the City has committed more than $433 million to support 4,022 units of quality, affordable housing for seniors. This keeps seniors in the City and gives them and their families housing options so they can decide which setting is best for them.
- And through the Plan for Transformation -- the replacement of 25,000 public housing units -- the City and Chicago Housing Authority made a commitment to set a new standard for public housing in the nation’s cities and to give residents of public housing the same opportunity to share in Chicago’s promise as every other resident.
Daley said that the death of Dr. King was a horrible event in the nation’s history, but that his spirit lives on as strong as ever and inspires men and women everywhere to achieve his dream of fairness, equality and opportunity for all people.
“Chicago has made much progress in many areas since Dr. King lived in this neighborhood, although much remains to be done. But our schools are better.
Our neighborhoods are stronger. And we have moved past the years when racial politics and rhetoric divided our city,” the Mayor said.
“So let’s take the opportunity provided by this ceremony today to reflect on Dr. King’s life and death and to remember that by working together, we will continue to make Chicago stronger and to lay the foundation for a hopeful and prosperous future for everyone,” he said.
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