Mission Statement

Lake View Towers Residents Association Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting affordable, healthy and safe housing, initiatives and programs; combating community deterioration; strengthening the surrounding community; and networking with other non-profit organizations and tenant associations in the sponsoring of community wide educational programs and training for low income individuals that will assist them in enhancing the quality of their lives and community.

History of Lake View Towers
One Team, One Dream

Lake View Towers is a 500-unit building consisting of two 26-story towers located in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. The building has studio, one bedroom, two bedroom and three bedroom apartments and houses a very diverse population of over 25 nationalities. Out of the 500 units, 395 are designated as project-based Section 8 units, while the other 105 are designated for moderate income individuals and families.

Lake View Towers has been a vital part of the Uptown community for over forty years. In early 2001, the residents of Lake View Towers became aware that there was a pending sale of the building to a conventional developer who likely would turn the building into housing for middle and upper income families. A small but dedicated group of residents, who understood clearly that the loss of 500 affordable housing units would be catastrophic for the community, banded together with the idea of purchasing the building through their Tenants Association.

This small group of residents put together a team of attorneys and affordable housing experts to help them fulfill their dream of purchasing the building. Incredibly, they also raised over $10,000 from the mainly low income families within the development to help support them in their goal.

Through their persistence, and with the help of a loan from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Lake View Towers Residents Association, Inc. (LVTRA) was able to purchase the building, closing the sale in September 2001. Unfortunately, as big a challenge as the purchase of the building was, their biggest challenges were ahead of them.

LVTRA purchased a building that was in extremely poor physical and financial condition. Due to poor management by the former owner, there was much deferred maintenance, as well as many issues with the behavior of residents. Vandalism and other security issues were prevalent throughout the building and delinquencies were at unacceptable levels.

What seemed like insurmountable obstacles only made the Board of Directors of LVTRA work harder to fulfill their dream. Shortly after purchasing the building, the Board began working on a comprehensive plan to upgrade the major building systems, the garage and common areas, as well as a plan to improve building security and to address resident behavioral issues. The Board assembled a team of building management, attorneys and an architect to accomplish this goal, as well as mortgage bankers who were experts in financing affordable housing.

This concerted effort culminated in a refinancing of the two then-existing mortgages to provide approximately $11 million in rehabilitation funds. The rehabilitation work funded by this financing began in January 2005 and was completed in September 2006.

The rehabilitation project included the following:
• A structural rehabilitation of the garage including all new lighting.
• A complete upgrade of the building's electrical systems.
• The installation of over 250 security cameras throughout the

common areas of the building, including all hallways and stairwells. Included with the security cameras was equipment to record all of the cameras throughout the building.
• A complete upgrade of the first floor areas to include a new security station and entry lobby, upgrades to the community room and exercise room, and provisions for a library and computer center. All new mechanical equipment servicing the first floor areas was also included.
• A complete mechanical modernization of the two passenger elevators and one freight elevator in each tower.
• A complete redecoration of all common area hallways, including new energy-saving lighting.
• New roofs for each tower.
• Upgrading of all building systems to bring them up to code.

Once the rehab was completed, the Board negotiated a lease with a private laundry contractor to fund over $300,000 to improve the laundry rooms with all new laundry equipment, including completely upgrading the decorating in the laundry rooms. The laundry rooms now provide the most modern, cost-efficient equipment of any building in the City.

Shortly after the completion of the rehabilitation, the Board researched, analyzed and obtained a $600,000 grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank. These funds were used to update life safety systems and the telephone systems in the building. At the same time, the Board began to plan for additional upgrades to the building to include upgrading of the kitchens and bathrooms in the individual units, façade repairs and repairs to the rooftop garage parking level. In late 2009, LVTRA successfully closed a loan of $4,373,000 to fund the façade restoration, upgrade 132 kitchens and baths, and repair the rooftop garage parking deck.

But the Board's dream of improving the building did not stop there. In 2009, the Board aggressively pursued grant funds from the weatherization program through the Community Economic Development Association (CEDA) of Cook County and obtained a $2 million grant from CEDA to replace the forty year old boilers with state-of-the-art, high-efficiency boilers for building heating and eventually domestic hot water. These high-efficiency boilers will save the building hundreds of thousands of dollars in operation costs over their life.

Currently, Lake View Towers is constructing a Learning Center, consisting of a Library and a Computer room, and updating the Community Room to include a kitchen. There will be classes offered for Computer Illiteracy, microsoft products, resume writing, interviewing and much more. We are also looking forward to having an after school program for the children. Check our Community Programs and Community News periodically for upcoming classes and events.

Lake View Towers is truly a model for all affordable housing developments in the United States. LVTRA bought a building with tremendous physical, financial and tenant problems and turned it into a community in which every resident can be proud to live. Their slogan of "One Team, One Dream" has made Lake View Towers the pride of the Uptown community.

Lake View Towers welcomes new residents to join our community.

Advertise Here!!

© 2011 Lake View Towers