HomeAffordable HousingPilsen Residents Celebrate Calling Casa Durango Their New Home One Year Later

Pilsen Residents Celebrate Calling Casa Durango Their New Home One Year Later

February 22, 2024

Margarita Gonzalez celebrated her 77th birthday in November 2023, a month before her first anniversary as a tenant at Casa Durango.

She is an active senior living in a one-bedroom apartment with her two rescue cats, Troy and Menino. Margarita enjoys taking baking classes and works part-time at a restaurant.

Margarita has lived in Pilsen for more than twenty years and had been looking for a new place to live after her lease was due to expire. Margarita was hesitating to renew her lease because of the condition of the apartment. She considers Casa Durango a miracle as she was handed the keys to her new apartment the same day her lease expired. “I have a beautiful apartment at a cost I can cover. I feel very safe in this building and area and want other families and seniors like me to have the same opportunities.”

Photo Credit: Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

When asked what she would like to see for her community, she said, “I would like Pilsen to retain its roots. Casa Durango is a new building, but people from the neighborhood live here.”

Ribbon cutting ceremony at the official opening of Casa Durango in Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. Photography by Eddie Quinones.

On February 21, 2023, Casa Durango held a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Chicago Housing Authority CEO Tracey Scott, former Chicago Housing Department Commissioner Marisa Novara, and partners. Casa Durango is the latest development of The Resurrection Project, a 53-unit multi-family affordable housing development across: 1858 S. Racine Avenue and 2010 S. Ashland Avenue.

Developing assets like Casa Durango during a time when families are experiencing displacement is fundamental to our work, and it is through the investment and financing from the City of Chicago Department of Housing, BMO Harris Bank N.A., IHDA and NEF that support healthier neighborhoods.

Alma Duran is a long-time Pilsen resident who began her involvement with TRP as a Parent Mentor at Orozco Community Academy more than five years ago and is currently a Public Health Ambassador on TRP’s Healthy Chicago Equity Zone team. Today, her children are students at Perez Elementary, located a block away from her new home at Casa Durango. 

A single mother of three, including twins, Alma longed for a safe place to live with her children as she contemplated ending her relationship with their father. This month, she celebrates her first anniversary as a tenant and is inspired to improve her building and community, “I want more for us, and I’m committed to help. I know many people who are in need, and I want to be part of something larger”.

She adds, “It was a blessing to get an apartment in Casa Durango because of my situation and because I had everything nearby: my children’s school is Perez, and it’s across the street, El Hogar del Niño [daycare], and my work. It was something that brought me a lot of peace, a lot of tranquility to have gotten an apartment in Casa Durango.”

Alma is an active member of Mi Hogar, TRP’s network of Pilsen homeowners and residents, and works as a Coordinator in the Parent Mentor program at Walsh Elementary.  

During the first year of operation, Casa Durango housed 107 individuals including 44 children across 53 households.  An experienced Real Estate Developer, TRP has created and preserved 1,090 units of affordable housing across 323 properties and has leveraged more than $820 million in community reinvestment from an initial seed capital of $30,000 over the course of 30 years.

Through resident engagement and support from community partners we continue to work towards balanced development in Pilsen with projects like Casa Yucatán and 18th and Peoria.

Click here for a virtual tour of Casa Durango.

To read media highlights about our work towards Casa Yucatán, and 18th and Peoria.


About The Resurrection Project

The Resurrection Project (TRP) builds trusting relationships to educate and propel individuals, immigrants, and families to achieve their social and economic aspirations, stable homes, and equitable participation in their community. TRP is a leading provider of affordable housing, financial education, and immigration services on Chicago’s Southwest side.

During the past three decades TRP has worked to improve the lives of individuals and families by creating wealth, building assets, and engaging residents to be catalysts for change. Rooted in the Pilsen community, TRP’s impact now extends across the City of Chicago and through the State of Illinois; we are making steady progress towards leveraging and preserving more than $1 billion in community wealth by 2025. To learn more about our programs and services visit us at www.resurrectionproject.org.