Today, Executive Director Richard Monocchio was joined by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle for a tour of the newly-redeveloped, affordable housing sites located throughout southern Cook County. These sites represent three of the 11 suburban properties owned and managed by the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) that have undergone major renovations since beginning construction in 2015.
“What a difference a few years make,” said President Preckwinkle. “I remember visiting these sites before construction began and thinking of the hard work ahead to preserve these affordable units for the future. The results speak to the fact that Executive Director Monocchio and the HACC team were up to the task. Their efforts will ensure that our most vulnerable suburban residents have safe, stable and affordable housing for years to come.”
After a brief overview of the redevelopment campaign with HACC senior staff and property managers, the tour began at Richard Flowers Homes, a 100-unit community of town homes for low-income families.
Throughout the past year, the complex has received a number of new amenities including a new playground and a redesigned community room outfitted with new computers. President Preckwinkle was also shown a newly rehabbed 3-bedroom unit, one of the nine that have become fully accessible for individuals with disabilities.
“We are excited about the new community spaces at Richard Flowers, especially for the children,” said Richard Monocchio. “These new areas allow for a safe space for our kids to play, learn and grow.”
The next tour stop was hosted at Edward Brown Apartments. Also located in Robbins, IL, Edward Brown serves low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities. Among the upgrades that the President was shown were a refinished lobby area, a new community BBQ space and one of the seven units that are now UFAS (Uniform Federal Accessibility Standard) compliant.
President Preckwinkle made sure to include residents in the tour, asking them about their experience throughout the rehabilitation process.
“A critical component of any housing redevelopment effort is community engagement. Discussing plans, changes and logistics with residents fosters community buy-in and ultimately results in better outcomes from everyone’s perspective,” President Preckwinkle noted.
The last site visit took place at Turlington West Apartments, another building dedicated to housing seniors and individuals with disabilities. Located in Harvey, IL, highlights from this community included a newly resurfaced parking lot, new doors and windows throughout the building, and new flooring and paint in the common areas.
As the tour came to a close, an old friend, and resident of Turlington West Apartments, named Kathy made sure to make an appearance.
“President Preckwinkle used to be my alderman when I lived in Chicago,” said Kathy. “I’m so happy to see that she cares about us folks as much as she did back then. It means a lot that she stopped by to say hello and see our new home.”