Mission & History
St. Edmund’s Redevelopment Corporation (SERC) has worked diligently to implement its mission:
To engage in housing and community development activities that will improve the diversity and quality of life for people and communities in need. Leaders of St. Edmund’s Episcopal Church established SERC in 1990 as a separate legal entity to serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of the neighborhood’s deteriorating housing stock. SERC's entry into community development was in response to pressing community needs caused by a void of community-based development efforts, a lack of resources for neighborhood improvement and disinvestment in Washington Park. SERC celebrated its 30th year in business in March, 2020.
SERC is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of corporate, civic and neighborhood leaders.
Since its conception it has utilized four primary strategies to accomplish its mission, namely: (1) mobilizing resources to address the physical and economic conditions of the neighborhood; (2) initiating collaborative efforts to improve the neighborhood’s social and civic life; (3) formulating planning, revitalization and development strategies for the Washington Park Neighborhood; and (4) utilizing and sometimes creating housing financing models that can be replicated successfully in other impoverished areas.
SERC successfully initiated a neighborhood revitalization process by building on neighborhood assets such as accessibility to major transportation arteries, residential character and structurally sound salvageable multi-unit housing.
Since 1990, SERC has facilitated the investment of over $106 million and developed 731 housing units in 34 buildings, in Washington Park and Woodlawn. To date, a total of 486 units were rehabilitated and 204 new housing units were constructed on twenty-seven vacant lots in Washington Park. In 2018, SERC acquired a 41-unit development in Woodlawn to preserve affordable senior/disabled housing and enable residents to age in place.
SERC continues to focus on developing new construction in-fill housing to bring more families into the Washington Park community. In 2011, SERC began a successful joint-venture partnership with Tria Adelfi, LLC, a minority and women business enterprise, to develop St. Edmund’s Court and St. Edmund’s Oasis.
SERC’s development ventures have been successful due to collaborative relationships with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, National Equity Fund, local financial and philanthropic institutions, Fannie Mae, Hunt Capital Partners, City of Chicago Department of Housing, Illinois Housing Development Authority, Chicago Housing Authority, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as local and State elected officials. SERC has been catalytic in drawing the attention of other non-profit and for-profit developers to the neighborhood’s excellent housing stock, which has stimulated additional rehabilitation construction initiatives.