Keana Lindo

Southwest Organizing Project

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CHICAGO LAWN

My family is one of the hundreds trying to make ends meet in the South Side of Chicago. It is becoming increasingly difficult for us to do this with the cost of living, especially the cost of housing, increasing faster than our paychecks. Although we were paying our rent on time, our landlord neglected to make mortgage payments which resulted in the foreclosure of the building and our eviction from the property. When our landlord gave us a two-week notice, I was worried about finding affordable housing and being displaced from my community.

"Having stable and affordable housing allows my family to save money and plan for the future. We now have aspirations to become homeowners.”

I shared my concerns about my family’s uncertain housing situation with a parent mentor group at my children’s school. They referred me to Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) for guidance. I joined SWOP’s Reclaim Southwest Chicago Campaign, which aims to preserve low-and moderate-income housing in Chicago Lawn. 

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The campaign has acquired 43 units of formerly vacant property, of which 13 units have been fully rehabbed and are ready for occupation. My family is now occupying one of these units! The campaign will continue to acquire and rehab chronically vacant buildings and build a pool of potential tenants and homeowners that are low- and moderate-income from SWOP’s leadership base and member institutions. Having stable and affordable housing allows my family to save money and plan for the future. We now have aspirations to become homeowners.