WCCHC Member Communities

About Us

Introducing the West Cook County Housing Collaborative
The West Cook County Housing Collaborative (WCCHC) promotes and supports sustainable, livable communities with a focus on producing quality, long-term affordable housing near transit lines. Bellwood, Berwyn, Forest Park, Maywood and Oak Park work jointly on promoting housing development through WCCHC.

The five communities share many common amenities and features including excellent access to downtown and O'Hare airport, and a mature and diverse housing stock served by nearby retail offerings. The convenient location of the communities, along with excellent public transportation, serves as a significant competitive advantage when seeking and advancing development opportunities.

Building on Success and Looking Forward
In its relatively short history, WCCHC has emerged as a successful vehicle to expand housing opportunities:
  • Responding to the foreclosure crisis. In 2010-11, WCCHC rehabbed a 26-unit foreclosed building in Maywood, as well as three single-family homes in Bellwood.

  • Creating a revolving loan fund to target distressed houses. With resources from WCCHC's Housing Restoration Loan Fund, approximately 100 foreclosed (or vacant) single family homes and condos near transit stops will be acquired, rehabbed and placed back on the tax rolls between 2012 and 2016. All homes will be resold to moderate-income households and will be paired with down payment assistance.

  • Fostering mixed-income, multifamily housing near transit. WCCHC is also supporting the development of multifamily rental housing through its Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Loan Fund. Eligible developments must be ½ mile from a fixed-route transit stop and have at least 20% of the units affordable to low- and moderate-income families.

  • Sponsoring analysis and comprehensive planning. WCCHC secured technical assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) to complete an analysis of the WCCHC's current housing stock and future housing needs. The resulting Homes for a Changing Region report will guide future housing plans. WCCHC also secured funding for its communities to update or create brand new comprehensive plans, all of which will have a common focus on improving areas around transit stops.
A True Team Effort
The work of the WCCHC is overseen and guided by a steering committee comprised of elected officials from each community that meets quarterly to discuss and vote on policy. A working group, which meets monthly and is comprised of municipal staff of each community, is responsible for implementing the programs. IFF, one of the nation's leading community development financial institutions, serves as the coordinator for WCCHC, and has worked effectively to access important public resources that support WCCHC's mission and livability principles.

Representatives from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Metropolitan Planning Council provide guidance and technical assistance to IFF and the member municipalities. Through these committee structures, substantial municipal participation guides WCCHC's priorities, while benefiting from more efficient implementation by the shared coordinator, IFF.

For more information on the structure of the professional team guiding WCCHC, see our organizational chart

© Copyright 2013 West Cook County Housing Collaborative