PULLMAN — A block party in Pullman Saturday will show off recently renovated homes.
Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives (CNI) and Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of Chicago are partnering together to offer both an open house and block party from 10 a.m -2 p.m. on 107th St. and S. Champlain. People can register for the free event here.
“We have regular open houses often, which are strictly to just sell the homes, but once or twice a year we try to a do a big community event,” said Donald Higgins of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, a nonprofit community development organization. Higgins is the coordinator of the Micro Market Recovery Program (MMRP), which is an initiative that focuses on stabilizing neighborhoods that have high foreclosure rates. North Pullman is one of 13 MMRP areas in Chicago.
Higgins said that he hopes this event introduces potential homebuyers to home ownership. On Saturday, they will be able to tour a fully renovated row house. The 2 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom home is listed at $95,000. It's located on 107th and South Champlain. He said the event will also offer information on how some borrowers can receive up to $35,000 in down payment assistance. CNI has been rehabbing and selling homes for more than 10 years, according to Crain’s Chicago Business, after the Chicago Plan Commission voted unanimously on July 17, 2014, to let the city own 41 abandoned homes on the South Side and give them to developers to rehab.
Sale prices have gone up in North Pullman, said Brian Caron, a managing broker with AMS Realty because “newly rehabbed homes are in demand in Pullman.” Between 2011-2014, the prices on their renovated homes has gone up, from under $70,000 to now, $95,000, Caron said.
“We’ve been working together for years on stabilizing the community, particularly the North Side of Pullman,” he said.
Caron said they plan on expanding though, he said.
“We’ve stayed on really one or two blocks, on Cottage Grove and Champlain,” he said, “because there were enough homes to rehab. But, pretty soon, we’ll be expanding into the neighboring blocks, and moving a little further north than 107th. We’ll move into the 106th block and then eventually the 105th block.”
Saturday’s event is sponsored by U.S. Bank. There will be free raffle prizes, entertainment and hot dogs and hamburgers. Vendors will be on site, along with local businesses.
Higgins said he has invited retired police officers and he's hoping that a ranger will come to answer questions. "Now that Pullman is a national monument, we wanted to see if a ranger could be there to answer questions like, 'Hey, what does it mean to be a national monument?'"
HIggins said this event will ultimately create unity.
“Neighbors can get to know neighbors,” he said. “Everybody is welcome. It’ll be a good time.”
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