AVONDALE — While the announcements of affordable housing projects can sometimes draw out opponents, neighbors need to realize the buildings are for people, according to State Rep. Jaime Andrade Jr.
Andrade's statement came during the grand opening of a new 32-unit affordable housing development in Avondale.
There are the usual questions raised in objection when these types of projects are announced, according to Andrade.
"What does it mean affordable? What does it mean low income? Who's coming in? Are they good? Are they bad?" Andrade said, listing off those usual concerns. "I say, they are people. It's people coming in. People that need help."
The Milwaukee Avenue Apartments, a $9.8 million development project, was built for individuals with disabilities.
The apartments include features such as kitchen tables that can be raised or lowered with a crank, large bathrooms and roll-in showers, adjustable cabinets with drawers that pullout and down to wheel-chair height, and audio-visual devices to let residents hear and see who is at the door for them.
Forty-five-year-old Yolanda Hill was living in a nursing home before she was able to move into the new apartment building, located at 3064 N. Milwaukee Ave.
She now lives in a brand-new, two-bedroom apartment.
"I said patience is a virtue," Hill said. "This is a blessing."
All of the units in the building are affordable for people earning less than 60 percent of the area median income.
Additionally, rental assistance will be provided to residents in 22 of the units. That assistance will be funded by the owner of the building, Full Circle Communities, the CHA and Illinois Housing Development Authority.
The development includes on-site management, a library, computer room, community room and resident garden.
"We don't have enough of these structures," said State Sen. Iris Martinez. "We have to start holding many of our aldermen and some of our elected officials accountable to actually saying we need much more affordability."
The development was funded through a number of avenues including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, a housing grant from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Chicago TIF funds, a green-design grant from the state and equity from the developer.
“This celebration honors the many elected officials and financial and community partners who helped make this building a reality," said Joshua Wilmoth, president of real estate development for Full Circle Communities. "Our partners and the Avondale community have been tremendously supportive of this development that truly is a home for differently abled individuals and their families."
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