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Groundbreaking for housing project rehab

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Federal, state, county and local officials took part in a grounbreaking ceremony this afternoon for renovation work on two Housing Authority of Cook County developments in Evanston.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, U.S. Rep Jan Shakowsky, State Sen. Daniel Biss Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Alderman Judy Fiske, 1st Ward participated in the event marking the start of work on the 100-unit Jane R. Perlman Apartments and the 99-unit Victor Walchirk Apartments.

This project is the first renovation in Cook County to utilize the federal Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, which allows the HACC to utilize private debt to finance the renovation of an existing public housing project.

The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) provided $1,500,000 in tax credits, which will generate over $15,000,000 in equity for the project.

The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development is providing $3,560,000 in federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) funding to support this project.

The City of Evanston is providing $150,000 in HOME dollars.

The total development cost is approximately $25.7 million. All units will be set-aside for low-income senior households, and for persons with disabilities.

“I’ve been a long-time advocate of affordable housing, both as an Alderman and President of the Cook County Board. In these challenging times, when the demand for affordable housing far exceeds the supply, a project like this is critically important in providing a stable home for hundreds of senior citizens and people with disabilities,” said Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle.

“The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) is critical to the future of public housing. It allows us to leverage additional capital, and just as important, puts these buildings on a more solid financial footing,”  said Richard Monocchio, Executive Director, Housing Authority of Cook County.

Due to the continual decline in federal funding for public housing, these buildings are in need of major renovation. New enhancements include major mechanical and structural systems, such as plumbing, HVAC, and masonry. Individual apartments will also be modernized, including new floors, cabinets and appliances. Current residents will continue to live in the building while their units are renovated.

The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2015.

The Perlman Apartments at 1900 Sherman Ave. were built in 1978, and the Walchirk Apartments at 2300 Noyes Court were built in 1984.

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