Construction of 48-unit affordable housing project at Lawrence & Austin in Jefferson Park area to start this fall
by BRIAN NADIG
Construction of a 48-unit affordable housing development at the southwest corner of Lawrence and Austin avenues in the Dunning/Jefferson Park area is expected to start in a few weeks and be completed in a year.
The monthly rents will range between $650 and $1,800, including utilities, said project developer Joshua Wilmoth of Full Circle Communities, which also is building a 75-unit, mixed-income project at 5150 N. Northwest Hwy.
The city Department of Buildings recently issued construction permits for the project. The permits state that the development will have 47 parking spaces, which is 13 more than originally proposed.
The development at 6009-17 W. Lawrence Ave. is designed for households earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income, or approximately $20,000 to $75,000 a year, according to Full Circle’s website.
The development will consist of two four-story buildings, one with 26 apartments and the other with 22 units. Each building will have an elevator, and the development will offer a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
On-site amenities will include community rooms, laundry facilities, a computer lab and library, and a children’s activity room, bike storage and a central courtyard.
At a public hearing last year, project supporters testified that the development will reduce the area’s segregation by giving “families of color” more access to the community.
“The number one issue people have is not being able to pay their rent and knowing where they’re going to live ,” a housing advocate testified.
At the hearing, Alderman Nicholas Sposato (38th) countered, “This affordable housing has nothing to do with someone’s color of skin,” he said, adding that applicants are chosen based on their annual income, with their savings not being factored in. “You could have a million dollars in the bank, so your’e not really helping the people who need (financial) help.”
Sposato said that the development will give a preference to applicants who are a veteran or have a disability.
Last year Sposato tried unsuccessfully to stop the project by having the vacant property, which has been undeveloped for more than 20 years, downzoned, but the proposal never got out of committee.
Sposato said that the development is too dense for the site and that he would have supported it if it had 25 to 50 percent fewer units. A previous proposal called for 24 townhouses on the property.
Those interested in being notified when applications are available for the development can sign up at https://www.fccommunities.org/6001-w-lawrence/