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Officials celebrate opening of affordable senior housing

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Political and community leaders celebrated the opening of an affordable rental community for seniors in Lake in the Hills Monday.

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Wheaton, Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Mary Kenney, and McHenry County leaders joined together to celebrate the opening of The Residences of Lake in the Hills, an affordable housing community for seniors.

Originally opened in March 2012, The Residences of Lake in the Hills is a two-story building located at 2601 Village Hall Drive and houses more than 100 seniors. The 92-unit development offers studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, each with a kitchen, central air conditioning and energy-efficient windows.

The $20.5 million project is the first age-restricted housing development designed to be affordable housing to seniors in Lake in the Hills.

“This is very impressive,” Roskam said. “This is a flagship location in McHenry County. It’s meeting a need. It’s incredibly important that seniors have a place where they are safe and they are in a community. There is a lot to celebrate and admire based on what we’ve seen today.”

Dan Kotcher, president of DKI Real Estate and Investments, the company that designed The Residences of Lake in the Hills, said the housing fills an important need for McHenry County.

“There is a tremendous demand for affordable housing in this area,” Kotcher said. “The Illinois state legislature designated Lake in the Hills as one of several municipalities around the state that suffered from a severe lack of affordable housing.”

The waiting list to move into The Residences is more than 180 names long.

Kotcher added that his company would not have been able to build the living community if it were not for federal housing tax credits, which helped fund the project in large part.

“If tax reform leads to the reduction or the elimination of the housing tax credit, Illinois and the entire country will suffer a severe shortage of affordable housing, leading to fewer jobs, less revenue, and even more hardships for many,” he said. “Without the housing credit, this project and others like it would never be built.”

The biggest financier of the project was JP Morgan Chase/Red Stone Equity Partners, which contributed $16 million to the building. HUD contributed $2 million in permanent loans, followed by JP Morgan Chase with $1.3 million in permanent loans, $400,000 from the McHenry County HOME Funds grant, $300,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, and $300,000 from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Mary Kenney, executive director of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, said Gov. Pat Quinn has approved the construction of 11,000 affordable housing units for seniors and working class families during his time in office, and The Residences is another examples of the governor’s commitment to helping communities thrive.

“I think every resident here can probably testify to the fact of how important it is for us to honor our seniors and to keep them in their communities where they live,” she said.

DeWayne Spielman and his wife moved into The Residences last April and said the facility has been a great place for the couple to move.

“You cant ask for anything better,” he said. “We love it here. The people we’ve met here are great … we have a home within a home.”

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