On October 24, the Washington Park–based St. Edmund’s Redevelopment Corporation (SERC) opened St. Edmund’s Oasis, a 58-unit affordable housing project. The new complex of apartments and townhouses is located along 61st Street between Indiana and Prairie Avenues.
Founded in 1990 by Reverend Richard Tolliver, SERC’s mission is to provide affordable, high-quality housing to the residents of Washington Park. Since its founding, SERC has opened over 700 units of housing in the area, making it the largest housing developer in Washington Park.
The average SERC project takes between three to five years from conception to funding to completion, according to Tolliver. Oasis’s completion was slightly delayed due to environmental concerns that were remediated through developing a plan with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
Tolliver told The Maroon, “St. Edmund’s Oasis is a continuation of what we began 27 years ago.” He is already thinking about starting a new 49-unit project around 63rd Street and Indiana Avenue, saying that after the completion of every project, he immediately begins to think about the next one.
The KLEO (Keep Loving Each Other) Community Family Life Center, another organization based in Washington Park, got approval in early October for a new housing development project in Washington Park. KLEO is headed by Pastor Torrey Barrett, who proposed a $23.5 million affordable apartment building with 58 units to be built on 63 East Garfield Boulevard. According to its website, KLEO aims to provide high-quality housing at an affordable price. Both organizations rely heavily on city tax incentives to fund their projects.