CHICAGO, IL – Interfaith Housing Development Corporation (IHDC) announced the completion of its newest development, Fifth Avenue Apartments, which will provide 72 new affordable housing units in the village of Maywood, a western suburb of Chicago. The development was made possible thanks to four important financial partners and an energy efficiency grant from ComEd. These financial partners include the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA), the Cook County Department of Planning and Development, the Richman Group Affordable Housing Corporation, and Bank of America. The Chicago Community Loan Fund also provided pre-development loans.
The apartment is located at 800 South 5th Avenue, a lot purchased by the village of Maywood in 2019. It was being built at a rapid pace to provide much-needed, affordable housing support to the Maywood community. The building was designed using pre-fabricated, off-site architectural precast panels that included thin bricks, form liners, and limestone sandblasted exterior cladding. With this intelligent design and construction approach, the entire building structure was assembled in just 35 days.
"We started accepting rental applications in the fall of 2020 and received more than 3,000 applicants for these 72 units," said Perry Vietti, President of Interfaith Housing. "We knew the need for affordable housing was great in this community, but with the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, it is clear that it has grown even bigger."
The new building is located on 5th Avenue, a pedestrian-oriented business corridor that is the main street of the village of Maywood and provides easy access to transit, education and retail for its new tenants. The building houses studio, one-, two- and three-room residential units as well as common indoor and outdoor common areas for use by the residents. A sales area of 5,500 square meters on the ground floor, which is not yet occupied, is intended for use by grocery stores.
"Affordable housing is the backbone of our communities and we are excited to see this development open its doors to Cook County's residents," said Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. "Interfaith did an incredible job of bringing this building to life quickly and we are grateful that you are our partner in helping to meet this critical community need."
This development is specifically designed for working families and individuals. 19 of the residences are reserved for special needs populations, 8 are for homeless veterans, and 11 are for residents of the Illinois State Referral Network. The building's first residents are selected based on their ability to meet federal income criteria for affordable housing programs. The five-story development will maintain its affordability status for at least forty years and provide affordable housing to households with or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI).
The development was designed by the national integrated architecture and engineering firm HED and built by Chicago-based McShane Construction Company. At the beginning of the project, the IHDC development team expressed the wish to achieve a high level of ecological sustainability in order to promote the health of the local population as well as possible. The project was selected for the International Living Future Institute's pilot program for affordable housing. While state regulation precluded receiving the Living Building Challenge certification, the team's participation in the program will ultimately benefit countless affordable housing projects across the country as research evolves.
"Thanks to our collaboration with the HED design team and despite the global challenges in the supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to be able to deliver this building for occupancy one month earlier than expected. The residents are now moving in, finding new opportunities for their own lives and relieve the area's conservation resources, "said Jason Breden, vice president of McShane Construction Company.
Other members of the project team who support the design and development of the Fifth Avenue Apartments project are SITE Design for landscape architecture and Ericksson Engineering for civil engineering. Property management will be handled by Interfaith Management Services, a subsidiary of Interfaith Housing Development Corporation, which currently manages Interfaith's 12 additional affordable housing developments.