CHA Home Ownership: Wentworth Gardens


Just a few blocks south of Wentworth Gardens, located near Comiskey Park, is the Wentworth Gardens Annex. The annex is a 98 unit scattered-site development located at 43rd Street and Princeton Avenue. The units are being sold under the CHA’s home ownership program.

Built in 1969, the Wentworth Gardens Annex was originally built with the idea that the units could later be sold to residents. The houses consist of two three- and four-bedroom bungalows, duplexes and row houses. There are currently 26 homeowners. Two of the sales were completed this summer. Twenty-four of the units were previously sold to residents as early as 1987.

CHA’s Division of Development Initiatives, Homeownership Department, is working closely with residents to achieve the reality of being a homeowner, according to project manager Cecil Lawrence. Once a resident becomes interested in the process, he or she will find that CHA has a wide range of supportive services to assist them.

The residents participate in mandatory homebuyer counseling. The process starts with a pre-application. Among the things that must be taken into consideration are the homeowner’s ability to pay utilities (gas, lights, water) and maintenance of the property. Some people need money for a down payment and/or closing costs. Some applicants are advised that they should save some money for a while or do various other things to get prepared.

No individual starts the program until their report comes back saying that they are prepared to enter the homeownership program. There are currently four to five people participating in the counseling process and two applicants are in the process of obtaining a mortgage. The demonstration model of the annex, which is located on 42nd Place, is a three bedroom brick, fully carpeted duplex unit. The house has central air-conditioning, ceiling fan (kitchen), ceramic floor tiles and new furnace with built in humidifier.The houses will be sold thorugh 20 or 30 year mortgages. First priority is given to the Annex residents, other public housing residents and subsidized housing residents. The average cost of a three bedroom unit is about $32,500.

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