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Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Norwood Park

Jefferson Park Affordable Housing Development For Veterans, People With Disabilities Opens Applications

Construction for the buildings at Lawrence and Austin avenues is scheduled to be completed in October. The project moved forward after City Council rebuffed Ald. Nick Sposato's attempt to downzone the land.

Construction is underway on the Apartments at Lawrence + Austin in Portage Park on June 1, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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JEFFERSON PARK — An affordable housing complex being built on the Far Northwest Side is taking lease applications.

The development for veterans, people with disabilities and families at 6001 W. Lawrence Ave., which began construction in October, will include two four-story buildings with 48 one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

The buildings are designed by Canopy Architecture+Design and will include on-site management, a library, computer room, community room and on-site resident services to help families coordinate access to benefits, health and wellness services, employment services and financial counseling.

The development will have studio apartments renting for $444-$780 a month; one-bedroom apartments for $475-$1,337; two-bedroom apartments for $570-$1,604; and three-bedroom units for $660-$1,854.

Residents who make 30, 50 and 80 percent of the area median income can qualify.

Developer Full Circle Communities is behind the project and is working with Illinois construction company Henry Bros Co. Those interested in applying can fill out the preliminary application online and return it by mail to the development company.

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Construction is underway on the Apartments at Lawrence + Austin in Portage Park on June 1, 2022.

Construction is on schedule, with a goal for the project to be finished and open for residents in October, said Lindsey Haines, senior vice president of Full Circle Communities.

Joshua Wilmoth, president and CEO of Full Circle Communities, has said the development will fill a much-needed hole in the community. 

“This long-vacant site has been an eyesore and nuisance, and we are thrilled to revitalize the site with high-quality housing that serves the wide range of families that call Jefferson Park home,” Wilmoth said. “We think this is an incredible opportunity to build on our community relationships and continue our year’s long work of bringing affordable housing options to Chicago’s Northwest Side.”

Credit: Full Circle Communities
A new affordable housing complex for veterans, people with disabilities and families is under construction at 6001 W. Lawrence Ave.in Jefferson Park

The nearly $20 million development is getting tax credit financing and funding from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, The National Equity Fund, Inc., ComEd and other sources.

The project does not involve city-backed financing. It did receive support from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the city’s Department of Housing.

In Jefferson Park, only 28 percent of housing is affordable to households earning 60 percent of the area median income, according to 2019 citywide analysis from the city’s departments of planning and of housing.

RELATED: Residents Move Into Jefferson Park Affordable Apartments After Years Of Neighborhood Debate: ‘I’m So Happy To Live Here’

The developer began planning in 2019 after realizing the site’s existing zoning would allow for the buildings without needing direct approval from the alderman, Wilmoth previously told The Daily Line.

Ald. Nick Sposato (38th) tried to block the project last year over density and parking issues and because some neighbors were upset about the development. But City Council sided with Lightfoot and didn’t approve Sposato’s request to downzone the land. He later told WTTW he would work with the developer to make sure the project could “benefit the entire neighborhood.”

Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
Construction is underway on the Apartments at Lawrence + Austin in Portage Park on June 1, 2022.

The Lawrence development is the second in the area for the nonprofit development company. Full Circle Communities opened an affordable housing project at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy. in April after taking more than four years to get off the ground. The company is also behind the city’s first affordable housing development for Native Americans, set to be built in Irving Park.

Further Northwest, a seven-story, $91 million project by Glenstar Properties at 8503-8723 W. Higgins Road is set to create 297 apartments, with 59 being affordable, near O’Hare Airport. In April, City Council passed an ordinance that will save Glenstar taxes on affordable housing. The ordinance offers developers a tax break for building apartments in communities like O’Hare, where only one-fifth of housing is considered affordable for low-income families.

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