HUMBOLDT PARK — A proposal that would create housing for veterans on Norwegian American Hospital property in Humboldt Park has passed the city’s Committee on Zoning.
While the affordable housing development was contentious leading up to its approval Tuesday, support for the 65th Infantry Borinqueneers Building, a four-story structure at 1045 N. Sacramento Blvd., came from various fronts.
That support included endorsements from former Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia, Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) and a vocal bloc of local residents — many of whom came out in support of the project in December.
The project also drew criticism from Humboldt Park residents who questioned the no-bid construction contract and worried the project was being green-lit without community input despite being a proposal that would permanently "change the dynamic of the neighborhood."
The proposal also sparked accusations of racism in the run up to its approval though, in the end, the project received the support it needed to pass. If approved by the City Council on Jan. 21, the proposal will create 49 affordable housing units for eligible veterans in Humboldt Park.
According to Hipolito Roldan, president of the Hispanic Housing Development Corporation and Tropic Construction — both the developer and construction firm for the project, respectively — rent at the veterans building will range from around $700 to $1,000 for 1- to 3-bedroom units at a total construction cost of around $14 million.
The building would be named after the 65th Infantry, a Puerto Rican regiment of the U.S. Army that was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in June for more than a century of heroism and service. The complex would be for veterans earning up to 60 percent of area median income, according to the Mayor’s Office.
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