Making Room Case Study: LISC’s La Casa

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La Casa Complex. Image Courtesy LISC.
La Casa Complex. Image courtesy LISC Chicago.

Making Room: Housing for a Changing America spotlights a dozen case studies from around the nation, suggesting innovative ways to address the housing crisis. One of these issues is housing affordability—which affects the economic outlook for millions of families in urban, rural, and suburban communities alike.

There is a increasing need for flexible space that connects people to their communities, regardless of their incomes, even as their families grow and change.

One of the featured innovations is an affordable housing development for college students in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood—a lively immigrant community that is home to multi-generational families, artists, and entrepreneurs, just a few miles from the downtown business district.

Called La Casa, the development brings together young people from different universities in modern, off-campus housing that offers many of the resources they might find on campus—but allows them to stay in their community, close to their extended families. The objective was to expand affordable housing in the neighborhood, add vitality to the streetscape with a light-filled design, and support the aspirations of young people, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college.