JEFFERSON PARK — A Far Northwest Side affordable housing development for veterans, people with disabilities and families is ready to welcome residents — and is already in high demand.
The project by Full Circle Communities broke ground in October 2021, developing two four-story buildings with 48 one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
The two buildings at 6009 and 6017 W. Lawrence Ave. — with 22 units in the former and 26 in the latter — could have residents move in this month, company officials said.
More than 400 people applied to live in the buildings, and about half have indicated they are a veteran or people with a disability, said Lindsey Haines, senior vice president of Full Circle Communities.
The company is going through applications to narrow them down and choose the tenants, Haines said.
“We are actively approving applicants and signing leases for Lawrence and Austin, so move-in dates depend on what works for individual tenants,” Haines said.
The buildings are designed by Canopy Architecture+Design and will include on-site management, a library, computer room, community room and on-site services to help families coordinate access to benefits, health and wellness services, employment services and financial counseling.
There are 47 parking spots, four of which are marked for people with disabilities.
The development has 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 must make between 30-80 percent of the area median income to qualify.
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.”
The company is awaiting a certificate of occupancy for the buildings, Wilmoth said.
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 analysis from the city’s departments of planning and of housing.
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.”
Sposato previously told Block Club he wished there were the same amount of parking spots as there are units, saying more could benefit guests — though he still thinks 48 units is too dense for the area.
Wilmoth said Full Circle Communities tried to get 1:1 parking for the property, but city planners brought it down.
The Lawrence development is the third in the area for the nonprofit development company. Full Circle Communities opened an affordable housing project at 5150 N. Northwest Highway in April after it took more than four years to get it off the ground. The company is also part of the city’s first affordable housing development for Indigenous people, set to be built in Irving Park.
As with the Lawrence Avenue apartments, the affordable apartments on Northwest Highway were highly coveted even after years of controversy and racially charged debates. In the end, 700 people applied to live in 75 apartments geared toward veterans and older residents.
Listen to “It’s All Good: A Block Club Chicago Podcast”: