Related Midwest Blog

Women's History Month: Sarah Wick's Advocacy for Affordable Housing is Changing Chicago's Landscape

Sarah Wick Landmarks IL Blog Post.jpg

At Related Midwest, where nearly half our staff are women, we celebrate the work of women trailblazers every day. One of those is Sarah Wick, Senior Vice President, whose passion for making an impact brought her to Related Midwest, where she leads affordable housing. 

Sarah’s desire to do meaningful work in the community started when she was young. After working in the nonprofit sector, she discovered that she was drawn to the financing side of development as well as the powerful impact of affordable housing and preservation on communities.

Sarah joined Related Midwest because of the diversity and volume of the company’s projects. But the biggest driver was the fact that Related Midwest combines the resources of a large, world-class developer with an ethos that holds that all people should have access to high-quality housing, not simply those who can afford to pay market rate. That combination gives Related—which is the largest developer of affordable housing in the Midwest, with more than 10,000 units—the ability to lead the industry with affordable homes that are beautifully designed. Sarah’s push for balanced, healthy communities includes affordable housing at their heart, and her commitment has been key to helping us achieve our mission to never turn an affordable housing unit into a market-rate residence.

Sarah has managed Related’s nearly $1.5 billion investment in 10,000 affordance residences in Chicago and elsewhere in the Midwest. In addition to constructing new affordable housing, under her leadership we’ve focused on preserving historic structures—acknowledging these buildings’ importance to the community rather than destroying them.

With this in mind, Sarah modernized Marshall Field Garden Apartments, which was built in 1929 and is on the National Register of Historic places. Her work on the buildings included installing new playgrounds and fencing.

Sarah’s other accomplishments include transforming Lathrop, a historic riverfront property, into a mixed-use and mixed-income community. With Sarah at the helm, Related completed the first phase of renovation in 2019—with 414 market rate, affordable and subsidized apartments and a revitalized park and riverwalk. The rehab keeps the historic roots of the development while modernizing the residences and adding amenities like a boat house and woodshop. Her team is currently working on the next phase, which will bring 74 more residences to the development.

We’re thrilled to have an advocate and talented executive like Sarah as part of the Related family!