HODC seeks city aid for Brummel building

The HODC building on the northeast corner of Brummel Street and Elmwood Avenue, in a 2014 image from Google Maps.

Techny-based Housing Opportunity Development Corporation is seeking a $50,000 deferred loan from federal CDBG funds to make improvements to its 13-unit apartment building at 743 Brummel St. in Evanston.

The request is scheduled to be reviewed by the city's Housing and Community Development Act Committee at a meeting Tuesday evening.

HODC has owned the vintage apartment building across from Brummel Park since 1998, when it acquired it with financial assistance from the city.

HODC Executive Director Richard Koenig, in a letter to the city, says the non-profit has managed to keep up on repairs to the property, "but the work now required is beyond our current reserves."

He says the roof was replaced when HODC acquired the building as part of a larger renovation project that also included replacing the heating, plumbing and electricl systems, bathrooms and kitchens, floors and windows.

But he says that while the roof has had minor repairs several times over the past decade, "there is evidence of seepage on the ceilings of upper floor units and general deterioration."

Koenig says the cost of the roof replacement has been estimated at $35,000 and that he hopes to use the rest of the money to purchase a security camera system for the building.

The building, which paid just uner $15,000 in property taxes last year, provides one- and two-bedroom apartments to persons earning less than 80 percent of area median income. Most of the tenants, Koenig says, have either very low or extremely low incomes. They include working families and retired seniors, and Koenig says, several tenants have lived in the building since HODC acquired it.

HODC also has four other affordable rental properites in Evanston. The group, founded in 1983, manages a total of 255 affordable apartments in seven north suburban communities.

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