KOCO is one of the only organizations in North Kenwood and Oakland where organizing efforts are dedicated to the preservation of affordable rental units. KOCO organizes tenants in six multi-unit buildings (representing over 500 units of affordable housing) that were financed with tax credits or Section 8-based HUD mortgages to preserve their buildings’ affordability; utilizing the Illinois preservation law, and to advance affordable housing policies at the municipal, state, and federal levels.
Actively engaging community residents, KOCOs staff is creating tenant councils in buildings where subsidized housing still exist. KOCO provides ongoing capacity-building and technical assistance to tenants on affordability preservation policies, organizing strategies, and political education.
KOCO also participates in city-wide coalitions to create and preserve affordable housing throughout Chicago. A former member of the Balanced Development coalition, KOCO stood with more than a dozen groups to set-aside a percentage of all residential developments for units to be priced affordably. KOCO is a founding member of Sweet Home Chicago is a new coalition to create a fund to build affordable housing within TIF districts utilizing 20% of TIF funds generated. KOCO is also a member of the Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) to organize tenants of subsidized units to fight for the preservation and construction of affordable housing, and gain greater awareness of the Illinois preservation law and additional affordable housing resources.
Also, to help homeowners who are in foreclosure stay in their homes, KOCO partners with Genesis Housing and Development Corporation to provide door-to-door outreach for the Circuit Court of Cook County Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program.