The Lake County Housing Authority (LCHA) has owned Midlothian Manor since 2001 as part of its non‑federally funded housing inventory. Under LCHA ownership, the property has continually been used as an assisted living/supportive housing facility. Residents of Midlothian Manor lived in individual apartments and shared a common space in which they could receive services from an on-site service provider. For a number of years, the occupants were low‑income seniors, often with disabilities. On-site services included meals, social events, and light housekeeping.
For many years the facility operated at a loss. It was never federally subsidized which caused the occupancy rate to be perpetually low. In 2010 the Housing Authority decided to close the building although they continue to maintain the building and property. Since the closure, LCHA has worked diligently to reoccupy the property and continue its use as an assisted living/supportive housing facility, the only practical use for the property given its design. LCHA explored redesigning the units with a licensed architect to increase the size of the units and create kitchenettes. The design would have decreased the number of units. They also worked with a number of developers on the potential for building a new assisted living/supportive housing development on the land also with no viable project. There were a number of unsolicited offers to purchase the building and property but at a lower than the market price. Discussions and proposals were sought from a number of nonprofit groups that could provide the needed on-site services. To name a few they engaged in preliminary discussions with PADS Lake County, Youth Build Lake County, A Safe Place, Lambs Farm, Lake County Center for Independent Living and the complete list of members of the Lake County Homeless Coalition. None resulted in accord.
With changing demographics and market conditions, LCHA identified an increase in the population of homeless individuals and families in Lake County. At the same time, HUD pledged a commitment to end homelessness within communities throughout the country. Further, LCHA endeavors to follow the guidance from the Lake County Consolidated Plan which provides a vision for housing and community development in Lake County. In unification, by a Memorandum of Action, the LCHA Board partnered with Lake County Community Development and the Lake County Coalition for the Homeless on the Zero: 2016 Campaign to end Veteran homelessness by December 31, 2015, and to end chronic homelessness for individuals by December 31, 2016.
In response to these needs, LCHA determined the best re-use of Midlothian Manor was to house the homeless with the support of a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing permanent supportive housing, and comprehensive supportive services to those experiencing homelessness in Lake County, Illinois. Therefore, in the summer of 2014, Lake County Housing Authority issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Not‑for‑Profit Agencies Serving Homeless Individuals to occupy Midlothian Manor.
The response to the RFP came from PADS Lake County who is proposing to utilize the space for assisted living under a supportive housing project. Single individuals experiencing homelessness and in need of affordable housing coupled with supportive services, would be occupying the units. Services on-site would include case management, behavioral health services, medical/psychiatric services, and other life skills training to ensure continued stability in housing. Furthermore, the assisted living facility would be staffed 24/7.
To learn more about Lake County PADS, visit their site HERE