HABITAT CHICAGO AT WORK IN WEST PULLMAN
Habitat Chicago is working in West Pullman to build on and add to the existing strengths of the community to help make it a more prosperous area for its current and future residents. Our multi-year investments in West Pullman include:
The West Pullman Community Action Group: Started in 2014, this group of residents and stakeholders in West Pullman works together to engage the community in activities to create safe streets, affordable and sustainable homes, learning opportunities and a vibrant local economy. Some highlights of this work include organizing job fairs, establishing annual community Christmas Tree lightings and engaging neighbors in plans for turning vacant properties into area assets. Learn more about the group here.
Affordable Homeownership: Working on S. Union Ave. between 119th and 120th Streets, we are building out an entire block of new, energy-efficient homes. These homes have been (and will be) purchased by families in need of affordable housing who qualify for our Affordable Homeownership Program and commit to taking homeownership courses and completing volunteer hours spent building their own homes. Learn more about the program here.
Block Build Events: Over the course of two years, we conducted four Block Build events as a way of bringing home improvements to families in need. Through these events, hundreds of neighbors and volunteers came together to realize 57 home and lot improvement projects on distinct West Pullman blocks. This program has been retired in favor of our Neighbors United program.
Neighbors United Block Improvements: This initiative, developed out of our experience with Block Build, provides support for small-scale projects to neighbors who want to work together to show pride on their block. It’s a chance for neighbors to reconnect with each other and their community while improving the visual appeal of their environment. Learn more about the program here.
Home Weatherization and Energy Efficiency: An aging housing stock in West Pullman necessitates weatherization interventions to keep utility bills low and home environments comfortable for residents. We currently distribute robust home weatherization and energy efficiency kits to residents in tandem with workshops on home efficiency measures offered by Sustainable Options for Urban Living. Learn more about the program here.
Soil Remediation Research: In our newest initiative in West Pullman, we have partnered with Loyola University’s Institute for Environmental Studies to identify sustainable and replicable lead remediation practices for the community. Starting with our future build sites, the institute is conducting sustainable lead remediation experiments by testing the efficacy and timeliness that different plants have on extracting lead from soil. If successful, the practice will be expanded to the neighborhood, providing residents with the knowledge and materials to conduct their own sustainable soil remediation projects.