Group aims to restore Roseland, South Side communities with affordable modular homes

Mark Rivera Image
Thursday, November 30, 2023
Affordable modular homes aim to restore South Side communities
The first of dozens of new modular homes was pieced together on the South Side Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The first of dozens of new modular homes was pieced together on the South Side Wednesday.

It was an effort to build equitable housing for working families to revitalize the Roseland community and beyond.

After a fire wiped out her Roseland home three years ago, Linda Brown-Wilson was full of emotion and is grateful to come back to the community she loves.

"I'm excited... overwhelmed," Brown-Wilson said. "I'm looking so forward to cooking my husband a home cooked meal... me and him sitting there looking at each other across the table."

Built off-site piece by piece and driven in, the affordable Kinexx modular homes are put together like giant LEGO set.

"We need people to come back to live in these communities that have become blighted, that have become disinvested," Hope Center Foundation CEO Rev. James Meeks said. "We need to now reinvest in these communities."

Meeks said the Roseland model is a part of an effort by Hope Center Foundation, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, United Power and others to create equitable housing for working families on the South Side to return and reinvigorate the neighborhood. 14

"When homes come, grocery stores come," Rev. Meeks said. "Restaurants come, clothing stores come, and we need all that and more if we are going to revitalize these communities."

"We want to be able to build these homes, our families back into these homes, repopulate our schools," 9th Ward Ald. Anthony Beale said. "That's how you rebuild a community."

Brown-Wilson said she hopes to move in to her $200,000 home in March. The price was brought down through Hope Center grants and other groups.

"It would not be possible if they did not help us with a grant... the Hope Foundation, the city," Brown-Wilson said. "So I'm excited. I wouldn't have been able to afford this without their help."

Now that the first home has been built, Rev. Meeks said five more families have been approved for new houses.