The Illinois Housing Development Authority denies request for details about federal financing of artist housing project
Chicago, Ill.–(ENEWSPF)–June 19, 2017. A Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Pullman National Monument Preservation Society (PNMPS) and its attorney Thomas J. Ramsdell for materials related to the financing of the Pullman Artspace Lofts housing development was denied by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) on June 13, 2017.
On Friday, June 16, 2017, the IHDA Board of Directors approved a “Resolution Authorizing State Tax Credits and an Increase in Federal Tax Credits for Pullman Artspace Lofts.” However, the status of the developer’s previous application for millions in federal financing remains undisclosed.
Construction projects that receive federal financing must comply with Section 106 of the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act. It requires a rigorous review to assess and mitigate a project’s effects on historic properties. Documents obtained previously by the Pullman National Monument Preservation Society indicate that the developer applied for up to $12 million in federal financing for its project in June 2016, yet no Section 106 review of the project has been initiated. On March 30, 2017, Jolyn Heun of the IHDA stated that the developer’s application for federal financing was still “under review.”
The Pullman National Monument Preservation Society has repeatedly warned that the proposed development will destroy the surviving foundation and related archaeological remains of an 1880 Pullman workers’ tenement located on the project site. In addition, they claim that state and federal authorities are failing to protect these resources situated within the authorized boundaries of both the Pullman National Monument and the Pullman National Historic Landmark District.