IFF Access Housing provides much needed community-based affordable rental housing for people with disabilities. Located on 25 scattered sites across a 2.5-mile footprint, the project helps stabilize Chicago’s Humboldt Park and Logan Square communities through the utilization and improvement of foreclosed and vacant properties. The project includes rehabilitation of 12 foreclosed buildings and new construction of 13 two- and three-flat buildings on city-owned infill lots.
IFF Access Housing’s goal is to preserve affordable housing while creating accessible options for people with disabilities. In Illinois, a disproportionate number of low-income disabled persons live in institutions because they lack community-based accessible housing alternatives. IFF Access Housing provides housing alternatives for individuals with disabilities to live independently. What sets this project apart is its human focus and scale. Rather than concentrating people with disabilities in a single site, Access Housing gives people the opportunity to thrive in charming and attractive homes that blend into communities of their choosing.
Recognizing that disabilities take many forms, each apartment features both universal and accessible design features. Ground-floor units are all fully accessible with zero-step thresholds and low peepholes; wheelchair-friendly kitchens with roll-under sinks and pull-downs in upper cabinets; front-loading washers and dryers in the units; and thoughtfully designed bathrooms with roll-in showers. Every unit in the project features design elements that serve all, including attractive contrast flooring borders for people with low vision; visual doorbells and strobe alarms for the deaf, and soothing color palettes for those with sensory issues.
In the gentrifying neighborhoods of Logan Square and Humboldt Park, most available rental apartments at the same price point were neglected 2- and 3-flats considered to be unsalvageable teardowns although their lots were ideally located for new infill housing. While renovating old and poorly-maintained frame buildings poses a variety of challenges, the team decided to rehab many of the existing buildings as the most sustainable choice. This decision was driven by both zoning restrictions and a desire to preserve the existing urban neighborhood fabric.
For the newly constructed homes, Access Housing capitalized on the existing neighborhood context which contains a variety of shapes and sizes, roof forms, and materials. The window types, material choices, and rooflines directly relate to the surrounding buildings. The resulting homes are generous and accessible, yet modest buildings indistinguishable as “affordable housing” that offer delight through their proportions, materials, outdoor spaces, and playful colors.
Material Used :
1. Hardie Panel - Exterior Cladding
2. Hardie Plank, Prefinished - Exterior Cladding
3. Amberleaf Cabinetry – Interior millwork – Usonia Collection in Natural Maple
4. Wilsonart – Kitchen Counters – Standard HPL Finish, Misted Zephyr
5. Anatolia Tile - Entry floors, Bathroom wall, and floor tile- Romance Porcelain Tileafd
6. Wilsonart – Kitchen Counters – Standard HPL Finish, Misted Zephyr
7. Northfield Block Company – Exterior Cladding & Structure – Harvard Brick