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 28th year in business in March, 2018.
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.
SERC was awarded a $5.5 million Capital Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop a 34 unit Senior Housing Development in Washington Park, St. Edmund’s Tower Annex. Tower Annex is an Energy Star rated building that will be adjacent to St. Edmund’s Tower, the 59 unit senior housing development SERC completed in 1998. Construction on Tower Annex was completed in January 2017.
SERC, in partnership with Tria Adelfi, LLC (Tria) received funding from the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development to construct a 58-unit rental townhouse and apartment complex, St. Edmund’s Oasis (Oasis). The total development cost of Oasis is $20.4 million. It will further revitalization efforts by continuing to fill in some of the vacant lots that plague the community and increase the neighborhood’s housing stock. Oasis will also have an Energy Star rating and was competed in October 2017.
In 2018, SERC purchased a 41 unit housing development in Woodlawn to preserve affordable senior/disabled housing and enable them to age in place. Since 1990, SERC has facilitated the investment of over $106 million, primarily in the Washington Park neighborhood, and developed 731 housing units in 34 buildings.
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 & Economic Development, Illinois Housing Development Authority, Chicago Housing Authority, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Alderman Willie B. Cochran of the 20th Ward, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and former Mayor Richard M. Daley 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.