Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation


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As a provider of essential services as listed under the Governor’s Shelter-in-Place Order, some staff will be working onsite on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Read more »

In 2016 Bickerdike piloted the Wellness & Walking Club in tandem with the first anniversary of The 606 trail. The purpose of this was twofold: It was a way to ensure that residents from the 305 Bickerdike owned apartmentts that are within a two block proximity to the trail were able to take advantage of its offerings, and it was a way to address the high obesity rates of both children and adults in Humboldt Park. 

Three years later, the now named 606 Wellness Club, has expanded its offerings to cover a variety of topics important to the overall health of its members. From April through June, participants are attending health education seminars, dance lessons, cooking demos, and Zumba classes. The classes are open to Bickerdike members and the community alike.

The series has been so well-received that participants are looking forward to the next session, which will begin in July.

New additions for the July – September schedule include Yoga, Self-Defense and Healing Herbs. The schedule can be found here.

For questions, please contact Raquel Torres at 773.278.5669.

“Green” Spring Cleaning

June 10th, 2019

We believe in Green! Since 2009 we’ve carried out green retrofits in over 460 units. Several years ago our offices were retrofitted with state-of-the-art, high efficiency lighting system bringing Green to our own home.

But Green extends beyond new developments and retrofits. These efforts require Green care. To engage our tenants in these initiatives, our staff works together to facilitate Green Workshops. Participants learn how to clean Green with chemical-free cleaning agents they can make in their own kitchens. Cleaning agents such as Drain Cleaner, Furniture Polish, Carpet Stain Remover, and even an All-Purpose Cleaning Spray.

Residents are pleasantly surprised at not only the ease of making the items, but at the cost savings.

We encourage everyone to try them. Visit the News section of our website for more Green cleaning recipes.

Bickerdike is working on our newest preservation project, Victory Apartments, a Project-Based Section 8 development consisting of 107 affordable units in 9 vintage, multi-family buildings in the Humboldt Park and West Town communities. In 1990, Bickerdike completed the initial rehabilitation of the buildings. The project was the culmination of an intensive organizing campaign to push the State of Illinois to fund its first affordable housing development in our community and it is named for the Victory of that campaign.

2915 W. Augusta

In late 2016, we purchased our two for-profit partners’ interests in this development and are now working on assembling financing to achieve our long term goal of preserving Victory Apartments as high quality, affordable housing for the foreseeable future.

The project will require the relocation of current residents for the duration of the rehab of their unit. In early 2019, we facilitated meetings with these residents to ensure that they are informed, prepared and engaged in the process from beginning to end.

The rehab will include the replacement of windows and doors, plumbing repair, replacement of HVAC systems to include central air and improved efficiency, and more. In May, we were awarded federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA). We will now proceed to the next step in the rehab process.

In a room filled with over 500 people there was overwhelming support (78% total approval rate) for our Emmett Street Project, which will provide 100 much-needed units of quality affordable housing in the heart of Logan Square!

Thank you to everyone who came out to support the project! 

We extend a special thanks to the following partners for their hard work, commitment and support.

35th Ward Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa
Logan Square Neighborhood Association
Logan Square Ecumenical Alliance
Logan Square Preservation
Logan Square Chamber of Commerce
Active Transportation Alliance
United Neighbors of the 35th Ward
Landon Bone Baker Architects

If you were unable to attend the meeting, you can share your support and comments with the Alderman at

Join the conversation on social media by using #EmmettStreetProject.

For more information, click here and join our Facebook group to stay up to date on the project.


Joy Aruguete, Bickerdike’s CEO, has been asked to serve on Mayor-Elect Lightfoot’s Housing Transition Committee.  Mayor-Elect Lightfoot’s Housing Objectives include:

        Joy Aruguete, Bickerdike CEO

  • Increased access to and supply of affordable rental units city-wide
  • Increased access to subsidized housing and housing assistance city-wide
  • Increased access to affordable home ownership
  • Raising revenue to increase funding for housing and homelessness prevention priorities
  • Ensuring streamlined and transparent, building, permitting and zoning processes.

We are excited that her thought leadership will help shape the City of Chicago’s housing policy to include the values of equity, transparency, accountability, diversity and inclusion and transformation.

There are a lot of myths about affordable housing and for 51 years, we have been telling the real story. Join us! Share this information and help us by supporting our work.

Myth #1:  Affordable housing will drive down property values.

Reality #1: Research shows it has no negative impact on price or frequency of home sales. Sometimes, it increases surrounding property values.
Download shareable graphic here.


Myth #2: Affordable Housing will increase crime in the community and bring in undesirable residents.

Reality #2: Affordable housing is a key component in economic development and often helps to lower crimes rates.

Source: National Crime Prevention Council, Topics in Crime Prevention. “Strategy: Ensure Supply of Affordable Housing.”
Download shareable graphic here.


Myth #3: Affordable housing will look like “cheap housing.”

Reality #3: Affordable housing must comply with the same building restrictions and design standards as market rate housing.

Affordable housing is not affordable because it’s built with “cheap or sub-quality” materials; it is less costly to live in because it is supported by additional public and private funds.  In one Alderman’s Ward where Bickerdike builds, he was challenged by some worried residents who confronted him about the “expensive-looking, fancy condos that were going up in their neighborhood. The Alderman was happy to tell them that the attractive, luxurious-looking building was, in fact, one of Bickerdike’s affordable housing developments!
Download shareable graphic here.


Myth #4: Affordable housing reduces the quality of local schools and hurts standardized test scores.

Reality #4: When forced to move and change schools frequently because they cannot afford housing, students perform poorly overall and often drop out of school all together.

Source: Family Housing Fund, Kids Mobility Project Report, March 1998.  Available at  and the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless.
Download shareable graphic here.


Myth #5:  Only very poor, unemployed people benefit from affordable housing.

Reality #5: Affordable housing improves commuting times, traffic congestion, and air quality. Employers, seniors, entry-level and service workers, teachers, firefighters, and police officers are just some of the many people who benefit from it.
Download shareable graphic here.


To read more about more truths about affordable housing download Myths and Stereotypes about affordable housing here.

You can be a part of telling the real story. Show your support by giving to an organization that has been busting these myths for 51 years: Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation.


Choose one of these three ways to give to us on this Giving Tuesday:

1): Send a check made out to Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation to 2550 W North Avenue Chicago, IL 60647

2) Online at or

3): Text BRC50 to 243725

Thank you!!


History of Bickerdike membership

November 13th, 2018

Bickerdike Redevelopment Corporation (Bickerdike) was founded as a membership organization in 1967 by residents of Chicago’s near northwest side and representatives of local community groups who joined forces to fight widespread housing deterioration, abandonment and arson. Alarmed area residents and community organizations came together and formed Bickerdike to reverse the disinvestment and community decline.

1967 NCO Meeting

In the last 50 years efforts to engage more people in our work have consisted of the addition of an individual membership option and the expansion of our service area to include the Hermosa and Avondale neighborhoods.

While the number of people given a voice has increased in the last 50 years, what has remained a constant is that Bickerdike’s membership is the cornerstone of our work. It is how individuals in the communities we serve are connected to the work we do.

Our members still make up our largest decision-making body. At our Annual Membership Meeting, you will have the opportunity to be involved and engaged in guiding our direction. You will also be able to participate in the election of the open term seats for the Board of Directors, vote on Advisory Resolutions, and be updated on our current and future work.

You should have received an invitation and information on our 2018 Nominees for Board of Directors. We hope that you will take a minute to get to know them and join us on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at North-Grand High School to cast your vote and be part of the democratic process that is core to our mission. RSVP here.

“Being a member of Bickerdike has given me more opportunities than I could ever dream of. Over the years Bickerdike empowered me to use my voice to bring about change in our community and to take part in voting and decision making. Last but not least, membership has always given me a sense of community.”
~Margo Timberlake-Silva speaks at the 2017 Annual Membership Meeting


It was a beautiful Saturday for mid-September as Bickerdike staff welcomed members, residents and neighbors to the 4th Annual End of Summer Membership BBQ.
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Bickerdike’s CEO, Joy Aruguete, was honored as one of the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Faces of Philanthropy. She was awarded the Outstanding Community Leader Award  during their 42nd Faces of Philanthropy Awards Luncheon. Read more »