BELMONT CRAGIN — Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ald. Ray Suarez (31st) and other city officials broke ground on a new housing development for low-income senior citizens in Belmont Cragin Friday.
The Cicero and George Elderly Apartments at 4800 W. George St. will be six stories tall and offer 70 units for low-income seniors.
The project is the 52nd for the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, and will be completed in the spring of 2016, said CEO Paul Roldan.
"It's difficult housing to come by, but in the end, we’re looking at a property that will service many generations of elderly people to come," Roldan said in an interview. "So it's money well-spent."
The crowd of more than 100 community members spilling out of the conference's warming tent heard from Francisa Rivera, who lives in one of the Hispanic Housing Development's Corporation's buildings for seniors in Logan Square.
"I love my neighbors. I have family there. They take care of me," Rivera said.
Emanuel said the city plans to build 41,000 units of affordable housing over the next five years, and 1,700 units specifically for senior citizens have already been completed or started.
"This is a tremendous place," Emanuel said of Belmont Cragin. "I can't think of a better neighborhood and community to make a contribution to our affordable housing desires."
Sixty-one of the 70 rooms will be made available to seniors whose income range between 30 to 60 percent of the area median income. Eight units will be for seniors at or below 80 percent of the median income. One unit will be the maintenance employee's apartment, according to a statement.
The building will include a water retention system, and energy star appliances, an exercise room, a terrace and a laundry room, according to a statement.
About 20 percent of the project was funded by $4 million from the Belmont Cicero TIF district, with additional financing from Bank of America, Federal Home Loan Bank, Illinois Clean Energy Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, Local Initiatives Support Corp. and Wintrust Bank.
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