After years of construction, 14 low-income housing properties in the suburbs of Cook County have been rehabilitated through a $200 million investment from The Housing Authority of Cook County. This is the largest affordable housing rehabilitation effort the Cook County suburbs have seen in decades and a celebration was recently held to announce the project’s completion.
In total, 1225 units of affordable housing located in Harvey, Robbins, Chicago Heights, Park Forest, and several north suburban neighborhoods have been updated and specific upgrades have been made to better accommodate seniors, individuals living with disabilities and families, according to a press release from the Housing Authority of Cook County.
“When we started this whole mission and effort to invest in our communities, I don’t think any of us knew that seven years later we would have rehabilitated 14 public housing communities and invested over $200 million in these communities,” said Richard Monocchio, executive director of the Housing Authority of Cook County. “It is really a testament to everybody’s
hard work and also to great partnerships. Things like this don’t happen, especially nowadays with resources being so tight, without some great partnerships.”
The mission of the Housing Authority of Cook County is to provide adequate and affordable housing, economic opportunity, and a suitable living environment free from discrimination throughout suburban Cook County, according to its website.
Some of the partners that were involved in the massive renovation effort were the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Bank of America, US Bank, Citibank, BMO Harris Bank, Enterprise Community Partners and the National Equity Fund. By combining public and private partnerships and utilizing the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, the Housing Authority of Cook County was able to access funds that were not previously available to them and use them to complete this massive project, according to a press release from the Housing Authority of Cook County.
“I am pleased to be here to support the Housing Authority of Cook County and the work they do on behalf of all our residents,” said Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board president.
“Projects associated with this investment will have meaningful and significant impacts on suburban communities by providing low-income families with affordable housing for decades to come.”
The recent event celebrating the completion of the rehabilitation project was held at Richard Flowers Homes in Robbins where $19.8 million was invested in interior and exterior improvements as well as creating nine handicap accessible units on the ground floor and converting two units into visual/hearing impaired units.
Overall, $74.4 million was invested in renovating affordable housing facilities in Chicago’s South Suburbs. In addition to the Richard Flowers Homes, renovations were done at Juniper Tower in Park Forest, Golden Towers in Chicago Heights, and Turlington West Apartments in Harvey.
“The Housing Authority has reinvented its affordable housing portfolio throughout Cook County and this has led to the preservation of more than 1200 units,” said Preckwinkle.