LCDC 2-Flat Ownership Program
Lawndale Christian Development Corporation – Chicago, Ill.
- Emerging Leader: Whittney Smith
- Grant Program: Emerging Leader
- Amount of Grant: $15,000
- Dates of Grant Term: November 2019 – November 2021
Whittney Smith is the deputy director for Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC), Chicago, Ill., an organization working to revitalize and develop affordable housing in the North Lawndale community. Smith joined the staff in 2017 and leads the 2-flat initiative ownership program. A native of North Lawndale, she earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and international relations from Carleton College, Northfield, Minn. In May 2016, she earned a master of public policy from American University, Washington, D.C., and a juris doctor degree from American University, Washington College of Law. As an attorney in Washington D.C., she represented clients building community through banking, small business development, and direct service providing.
Lawndale Christian Development Corporation (LCDC) aims to utilize the flexibility of 2-flat ownership to extend financial stability and create wealth for first-time homeowners. The goal is to renovate and sell at least four 2-flats by the end of 2020. Each property will be developed as a duplex, allowing owners to rent the second floor unit to secure additional income, which will help put families on the path to long-term wealth creation. The homeowners will be provided training and support on laws, policies, and best practices of landlord/tenant relations. Present and future homebuyers will also be empowered to advocate for themselves through the North Lawndale Homeowners Association. Additionally, the 2-flat ownership program will provide job experience and career exposure in construction trades to young men in North Lawndale. Each property will have at least 2-4 local apprentices, which will be drawn from local partners.