Community Ventures Program Update:
JCUA Provides Two New Zero-Interest Loans to Latinos Progresando and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives
Latinos Progresando (LP), A 20-year old community organization, was awarded a $100,000 CVP loan to acquire and rehabilitate a 9330 sq. ft. facility in Little Village. This will allow LP to expand its services to the community through high-quality, low-cost immigration legal services, technical assistance to small businesses in the area, and mental health and wellness services.
LP currently serves approximately 400 immigration clients each month, many of whom are undocumented and ineligible for funding from traditional sources. LP has 16 employees with a preference for hiring community residents. Currently seven staff are former clients and five are Marshall Square/Little Village residents. Construction is slated to begin in early 2019.
Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI),was awarded a $100,000 CVP loan to cover predevelopment costs for the construction of a 100,000 sq. ft. greenhouse facility on a long vacant property in Pullman. This project is an important piece of the redevelopment story in Pullman, bringing economic development to a neighborhood that is experiencing a 24.4% unemployment rate, with 21.6% of its residents living below the poverty line.
The facility will be owned and operated by Gotham Greens, a leading regional producer of vegetables and herbs. They currently operate a 75,000 sq. ft. rooftop greenhouse also in the Pullman neighborhood. Their pesticide-free produce is grown using ecologically sustainable methods in 100% renewable electricity-powered greenhouses. This second facility will create 60 permanent jobs, and Gotham Greens has committed to hiring from the far South Side, partnering with local organizations for job training.
JCUA’s Community Ventures Program (CVP) provides zero-interest loans that create and preserve affordable housing and living wage jobs across Chicago.