By Anna Lothson
The Grove Apartments at Madison Street and Grove Avenue won't be ready for occupancy until about Oct. 1, but those interested in living in one of the renovated 51 one-bedroom units should get their names in now.
Acceptance of the priority pre-applications for residency began on Feb. 1 and will continue until March 1. Forms must be returned by mail and received by that date to be considered in the first round. Applications will be place in a random order with each preference category; applications after the March 1 date will be placed in order based on when they are received.
Ed Solan, executive director of the Oak Park Housing Authority, said the group has received roughly 50 applications so far. The staff, however, hasn't determined yet if all applicants are eligible.
The Grove Apartments complex, site of the former Comcast building, is a collaborative project between the Interfaith Housing Development Corporation and the Oak Park Housing Authority. The project faced some community opposition, but leaders have spoken about the importance of providing housing opportunities to those who want to live and work in Oak Park.
Solan said the location of the Grove Apartments is desirable due to the proximity to shopping and public transit. It offers a less expensive option than other one-bedroom properties in town, plus the units are all new construction.
He said in past interviews with Wednesday Journal that the building will make an important contribution to Oak Park's affordable-housing commitment. He also believes it will have a positive impact on commercial development along Madison Street.
In order to be eligible for occupancy, applicants must be a single adult with annual income below $25,800 or a single adult with no more than one child below 18 years of age and annual income not exceeding $29,450.
The development will also give preference to applicants who are legal residents of Oak Park, those who work in Oak Park 20 hours or more per week, or those who have been hired to work in Oak Park 20 hours or more per week. Applicants who both live and work in Oak Park, or are hired to work in Oak Park will receive a higher preference.
Pre-application forms will be available at www.oakparkha.org and at the office of RC Management Services Corporation, 21 South Blvd.
Update: As of press time, the number of applicants reported to The Journal was around 50. That number has been updated and is now up to 76 applications.