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Local News

Joliet signs off on Des Plaines Gardens plan

Public housing would be renovated

JOLIET – Joliet and the Housing Authority of Joliet have agreed to include about 70 housing units in the Des Plaines Gardens Homes rehabilitation project.

The city and HAJ signed off on the plan during a special City Council meeting Monday, according to Councilman Terry Morris.

The agreement was necessary for HAJ to meet a March 31 deadline to submit its project application to the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

HAJ originally had envisioned replacing 122 housing units at the low-income project with as many as 69 to 76 mixed-income townhomes and duplexes.

City staff had recommended 48 single-family homes, a number that was later changed to 52 with the addition of a couple of duplexes. Stormwater retention, utility access and population density were primary concerns.

The latest proposal will include 69 or 70 single family homes and duplexes, the maximum allowable on the seven-acre redevelopment site, City Manager Jim Hock said.

Residents displaced by the demolition would receive housing vouchers and be given first option of moving back into the redeveloped facility.

Housing units not replaced at Des Plaines Gardens eventually could be transferred to HAJ’s Liberty Meadow Estates facility, where the authority has land available for additional construction.

Money to demolish the complex and build new privatized housing would come from IHDA tax credits purchased by private investors. Rent subsidies for the new homes would come through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program.

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