Group Turns Around Distressed Properties—and Peoples’ Lives

Houses and condos that lenders take over in foreclosure often need a lot of help getting turned around into habitable places again. For one Skokie-based not-for-profit, cleaning those homes provides an opportunity to repair something else at the same time: the lives of its employees…

Workers from 180 Properties at a two-flat in Riverdale

Houses and condos that lenders take over in foreclosure often need a lot of help getting turned around into habitable places again. For one Skokie-based not-for-profit, cleaning those homes provides an opportunity to repair something else at the same time: the lives of its employees.

“Having this job allowed me to get back into my children’s life,” Joseph Hill said recently, while cataloging the repair needs of a West Rogers Park condo for his employer, 180 Properties. A former gang member who served a prison term, Hill said that thee years ago he was living on the streets and had no contact with his three children. He’s now a crew chief for 180 Properties, which is a joint venture of the Cara job- and life-skills program and Mercy Housing Lakefront, an affordable housing agency.

“There’s a lot of housing that needs to be taken care of for the lenders,” says Chris Rintz, the head of 180 Properties, “and there’s a lot of human capital in the city that needs help too.”

Along with skills coaching, the workers get a living wage that starts at $12 an hour and includes benefits. In late December I spent some time with two of the 11 crews fielded by 180 Properties. Click through the photos below for the story.

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2 years ago
Posted by Bert Gor

Great article, Dennis. This is a really awesome feel good story. As a dad of two young girls, I see it every day how important it is that both parents be a part of their kid’s lives. It was really good to hear how Mr. Hill said he is now able to be a part of his kid’s lives after turning things around. Unfortunately, with me personally specializing in short sales, I see many broken homes. It is heartbreaking to see children suffer and is what I dislike most about my job. This is great that this company has provided an opportunity for folks like Mr. Hill, and clearly he has excelled within the organization. On behalf of other dad out there good work on turning things around Mr. Hill! Bert Gor – The Short Sale Group, Inc.

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