Woodlawn East Community and Neighbors, Inc. (WECAN) is one of Woodlawn’s oldest continually operating non-profit community-based organizations. Since our founding in 1980, we have been committed to meeting the changing needs of Woodlawn residents by maintaining affordable housing in the community.
Woodlawn has transformed from a community in transition to a community in the midst of monumental change. This change has been caused by many factors, including the selection of Jackson Park as the new home to the Obama Presidential Center; the $30 million U.S. Department of Housing and Development Choice Neighborhood grant awarded to the Preservation Of Affordable Housing (POAH) in 2011; the redevelopment of 420 housing units on 63rd Street and Cottage Grove; the opening of a new Jewel-Osco grocery store; and the construction of numerous housing developments, such as Woodlawn Pointe, a mix of new infill and renovated homes in West Woodlawn by Greenlining Realty.
Throughout these changes, WECAN is playing a leading role in advocacy for the Woodlawn neighborhood and its residents. WECAN programs and services include affordable rental housing, an intake center for emergency energy assistance, housing advocacy, summer youth camp, and after-school programs for elementary school-age children.
WECAN's Housing Resource Center provides information about housing options in Woodlawn, including rental, homeownership, and cooperative housing options.
WECAN's CEDA and LIHEAP programs offer utility bill payment assistance for low-income residents who are in danger of disconnection.
WECAN actively participates in advocacy and policy debate over affordability, the threat of displacement of long-term residents, and the need for community-informed redevelopment strategies and housing policies.
WECAN provides affordable housing by renting units in its mixed-use building which consists of 5 commercial units and 23 residential apartments.