Construction breaks ground on Otto Veterans Square in Illinois

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Otto Veterans Square in Illinois is now under construction, according to a statement from the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC). The development is a veteran-specific affordable housing complex in Chicago Heights.

Otto Veterans Square is a four-story, 82-unit building. It will feature a fitness center, movie room, jogging routes, and raised garden beds for neighborhood gardens, among other facilities. Otto Veterans Square is the first brand-new construction to result from the Downtown/East Side Choice Neighborhoods Plan.

Further, it was funded by a $350,000 grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and jointly created by the City of Chicago Heights and the Housing Authority of Cook County.

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Residents of the development will receive assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, they will receive help from Respond Now, a social services organization established in Chicago Heights. The Illinois Housing Building Authority (IHDA) granted 9% low-income housing tax credits to finance the $30 million building.

The National Equity Fund (NEF) contributed equity. In addition, a permanent loan was given by IHDA, the Federal Financing Bank, and BMO. The construction loan was provided by BMO. IHDA, Cook County’s Bureau of Economic Development, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago all contributed soft funding, and the ComEd Energy Efficiency Program also contributed additional funding. Additionally, the Housing Authority offered owner debt.

Commentary on the Otto Veterans Square project

“The initiative between the City of Chicago Heights and the Housing Authority of Cook County to revitalize the property formerly occupied by Franciscan Hospital with a modern, 82-unit veterans housing development represents both a dignified and deserved investment in our military veterans,” said Chicago Heights Mayor David Gonzalez.

“We are proud to host the veterans housing facility and grateful for the short and long-term economic boost to the city’s center that the project represents.” “It is unconscionable for any American who served their nation to struggle to find safe, decent, and affordable housing,” said HACC Executive Director Richard J. Monocchio.