Look Properties Establishes Relationship with CIF

April 14, 2015

One of Center for Independent Futures’ Community Living Option (CLO) residences has a new team on its side after being purchased by Look Properties, LLC. In February, the Chicago Avenue CLO was purchased by Look Properties (LP), owned by John Benson and Mike Low. LP, which currently has twelve properties, creates comfortable, affordable properties in Evanston.

“They’re open to partnering with us and taking a different approach than they may have otherwise taken,” says Megan Baer, CIF’s Program Director. “From the first day they met the community, John and Mike have made an effort to get to know each of the residents.”

For both CIF and Look Properties, the relationship is a step toward a vision for the future where all individuals have access to comfortable, affordable homes. “Government funding is very limited for this type of housing, and I feel it’s important for public and private relationships to be developed to address the dire shortage of housing for this group of individuals,” John says.

The Chicago Avenue CLO residence was originally formed by a group of families and managed in part by CIF staff members. The new ownership model takes over building management and repairs, while the CIF staff continues to focus on supporting the community. The community’s interaction with the building’s new management will replicate a traditional landlord-tenant relationship. With support, residents will solidify skills critical for any future living situations they may choose.

“They’re very communicative and open with staff to make sure that things are done in a way that’s comfortable for our residents,” Megan says.

CIF’s Executive Director, Ann Sickon, says that the sale expands the vision of what is possible for family-created independent living options. “This transfer of ownership from the original LLC to Look Properties demonstrates the sustainability of creating this type of alternative housing option for individuals with disabilities,” Ann says.



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