Forty Chicago-area banks are participating in the program. They are expected to fund affordable units in as many as 400 buildings over the next five years.

The city’s partner, Community Investment, is a community development financial institution that finances the purchase, rehabilitation and preservation of affordable housing and also offers training in property management and energy renovation.

The main investors in the program are Northern Trust, Fifth Third, BMO Harris, PNC, CIBC, Wintrust, First Midwest and TCF Commercial Real Estate. Together, they committed $ 221 million to meet the loan target.

“Securing these funding commitments has been a major effort,” CIC CEO Jack Markowski said at a press conference announcing the program this afternoon in the South Shore district.

The goal of the loan pool is to “counter the historic divestment in many Chicago communities” with private dollars, Markowski said. “When we talk about affordable housing here, we are not talking about redevelopment of public housing, we are not talking about tax credits for low rental housing or other developments built with large public subsidies. Instead, we are talking about what is called “natural affordable housing” which is privately owned and funded. “This type of housing actually accounts for 75 percent of affordable rental housing in Chicago and across the country.”

“We have seen how the idea of ​​affordable housing is not just a good thing to have. Due to the vulnerabilities that have manifested themselves during this historic pandemic and the resulting economic crisis, thousands of our families are struggling to stay in their homes, keep a roof over their heads and protect their families. kids, ”Lightfoot said today. “This is why today’s announcement is so important. ”

“We, the city, cannot meet the needs with public money alone,” Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara said today. “For four people eligible for social housing, only one benefits. This is why CIC’s role is so crucial; they lend in areas where others cannot lend, they help borrowers others cannot help, they get unsubsidized but still affordable housing in communities for families who need it because we, the city, cannot meet the needs with public money alone.

Today’s announcement is part of the Mayor’s Invest South / West program and follows last week’s announcement a call for tenders for projects in Englewood, Auburn Gresham and Austin, three of the 10 neighborhoods that the Lightfoot administration has prioritized for essential economic development.