Modular homes are reshaping the future of affordable housing in Chicago as Latino buyers buy them

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CHICAGO (WLS) – Modular homes could be the future of affordable housing in Chicago, and David Mata is one of the first buyers to buy one in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood.

“It’s just great, there is no place like home,” Mata said recently. “It’s a very nice house, it’s really nice.”

At 26, Mata has full custody of her younger brother. Mata said their father died of Covid-19 in November and their mother was living in Mexico, caring for their grandmother.

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So in June, Mata decided to buy a house rather than spend the money to rent an apartment.

“If I’m being honest, I did it more for my brother, so he could have a nice house,” Mata said. “He likes that.”

When it comes to buying homes, Latinos, especially young Latinos, shape the future, and Chicagoans take advantage of opportunities and programs to help them afford a home in the city.

Mata’s House is the first modular home built by The Resurrection Project, which assisted Mata with its homeownership programs.

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Mata bought the house for $ 255,000, but he also received grants and down payment assistance totaling around $ 30,000, according to Raul Raymundo, CEO and co-founder of The Resurrection Project.

“Our vision is to build hundreds of them on the West Side and the South Side with partners, especially in the Hispanic and Black communities,” said Raymundo. “Modular housing is quality housing. It is energy efficient and it is a new concept that we can produce on a large scale. “

Latino owners like David Mata are the future. Despite the pandemic and job losses, Latinos are the only ones to increase homeownership for six consecutive years, according to the 2020 State of Hispanic Homeownership Report.

Raymundo with The Resurrection Project said modular homes are produced on a larger scale and are more affordable than building on site. He said the organization was targeting working families earning $ 60,000 to $ 80,000 a year who learn about responsible home ownership through their programs.

He said it’s a win-win for the buyer and the communities they target, especially those with vacant and unused land.

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“You take away the horrors of the neighborhood. They were vacant, sometimes full of garbage, now you have a brand new house with a new neighbor who is committed to getting involved in the community,” Raymundo said.

Raymundo described the process as a way to “empower communities, not just owners”. But it will also take time. Raymundo believes it could take years, perhaps even more than a decade, to see the vision come to fruition, with financially healthy landlords transforming neighborhoods into vibrant and prosperous communities.

Rather than putting modular homes on the market, Raymundo said The Resurrection Project helps potential buyers going through their organizations learn about responsible home ownership and analyze their finances.

“There are over 10,000 vacant lots throughout the city of Chicago. Can you imagine if we had a modular home in each of these lots? Raymond said.

Indeed, the number of Hispanic households is skyrocketing. Between 2020 and 2040, 70% of new owners will be Latinos, according to a study by the Urban Institute.

“When you are considering home ownership, you are envisioning a community with a young population, aged 25 to 44, willing to buy a home or interested in buying it,” said Joseph Lopez, executive director of Spanish Housing Coalition.

Lopez said potential owners should think about the following:

  • Meet with a housing advisor
  • Understanding your financial health and credit
  • Learn About Buying a Home
  • Prepare for a down payment
  • * Maximize programs, such as grants and down payment assistance

    “Our team works with potential buyers to understand their financial health, preparation and willingness to own and benefit from the programs,” said Lopez. “Resources are available for homeowners, and we continue to ensure that our team of advisors make those connections. “

    The Spanish Housing Coalition recently helped Jonathan Sancen, a 27-year-old Chicagoan who bought a one-bedroom condo in Rogers Park last year.

    “I walked into the program and finished it, it was $ 2,000 that they would help me with,” Sancen said.

    Buying a home right now, affordably, is a big deal, but it’s just as important to make sure Latinos can stay in their homes during the pandemic – and that means being able to pay their rent or their costs. mortgages.

    The Spanish Housing Coalition and The Resurrection Project are helping families with rent assistance, which increased during the pandemic as families faced hardships, such as losing a job.

    “By providing rental assistance to these families, we can not only get the family back on track, but also help homeowners preserve their homes,” said Raymundo.

    So whether Chicagoans pay rent or

    In the end, having a home that is affordable is worth it, especially for David Mata and his younger brother.

    “It means a lot to me. I know it means a lot to my brother,” he said, adding in Spanish, “Si se puede!”

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