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Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH)

January 2, 2012
by Emily Gowing

The Chicago Reporter 

Preserving affordability

A nonprofit transforms subsidized buildings in disarray

When Faith McGhee moved to Grove Parc in 1991, the federally subsidized building provided her with stability when she needed it the most. “It really helped me to put my life back together when I was between jobs because I wasn’t able to afford market rent,” said McGhee, who was separated from her husband and had three children. “It’s a place rich in resources.”

But, by late 2007, the condition at the Woodlawn building had turned 180 degrees. After years of mismanagement, Grove Parc had deteriorated to the point where it failed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s inspections twice in a year, scoring as low as 11 on a scale of 100—49 points below passing. As a result, the building was slated for foreclosure.

“I kind of felt like [the management was] allowing the property to go downhill. Housing all across the board was going downhill,” McGhee said.

That’s when Preservation of Affordable Housing stepped in to salvage the building. The Boston-based nonprofit is known across the country for its success rate in taking subsidized buildings in disarray and transforming them—while preserving the affordability of the units.

Read the full article here