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The Highland Place mixed-use, affordable housing building proposed for the 200 block of Madison Street might take a little longer than expected as developers continue to seek funding for the project.

Mark Angelini, president of Mercy Housing Lakefront, one of two nonprofit developers working on the project at 231-307 Madison, told Wednesday Journal Mercy Housing and its partner, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, were unable to secure funding through the West Suburban Housing Collaborative to help finance the project and therefore lost a critical source of so-called gap funding to help begin construction.

But that doesn’t mean the project is dead, he said, just on hold.

“We will be going for the next round [of tax credits] later this year or early next year,” Angelini said, noting that the tax credits are implemented through the Illinois Housing Development Authority. 

“Typically there are more applicants than there are credits to disperse,” Angelini said. “We applied in February but we did not get assigned the credits, which is why we lost the source.”

He said Mercy Housing and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives continue to seek other funding sources to finance the five-story building that is expected to run along the south side of Madison between Harvey and Highland.

Federal Home Loan Bank funds and the HOME Program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are two sources they’ll be targeting for additional funding, he said, as well as gap funding provided by the state of Illinois. Typically you cobble it together through two or three sources, he said.

Angelini noted that it’s “not untypical for affordable housing projects to go through more than one IDHA round.”

“It gives a window of time for applications,” he said. “If that doesn’t work, you take a breather and go back at it.”

He said the two nonprofits put the word out about the stalled funding, so it’s understood that they have no intention of abandoning the project.

“We’ve not been able to close that gap just yet, but we will keep at it; we still aim to make this happen at that site,” he said.

According to plans approved by the village of Oak Park earlier this year, Highland Place development will feature 10,500 square feet of ground-level retail space and 55 affordable apartments – expected to cost about $750 for a studio apartment to $1,100 for a three-bedroom apartment.

Angelini said the groups are working with the village of Oak Park as well as the Oak Park Economic Development Corporation to move the project forward.

CONTACT: tim@oakpark.com

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