Village of Oak Park briefs

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$750K OK'd for ResCorp buy

The Oak Park Residence Corp. got a preliminary thumbs-up on a $350,000-$750,000 loan from the village to help fund the purchase of a 24-unit, $1.5-million apartment building.

ResCorp plans a $500,000 upgrade to the building, which officials said is dilapidated and has multiple code violations.

ResCorp Executive Director Ed Solan said the building?#34;the address of which was kept secret pending completion of the purchase?#34;meets the requirements for acquisition for the nonprofit village partner agency.

ResCorp has been criticized in the past for not following its original mission of selling the buildings it has renovated. But Wayne Pierce, ResCorp board president, said buildings ResCorp has returned to the free market have fallen back into disrepair, and that in today's market some would be converted into condominium buildings.

The board would need to pass a budget amendment to fund the loan.

Solan said the $2-million purchase and renovation project would be funded primarily by a $1 million loan from Park National Bank, formerly First Bank of Oak Park. The amount of the village's contribution would depend on whether a $400,000 loan from the Illinois Housing Development Authority comes through. ResCorp would pay the remaining $250,000 for the renovation.

Affordable housing 'rehash'

The village board took nearly two hours discussing affordable housing Monday night before members asked what the term means and how it should be addressed.

This "has been a rehash," said Trustee Geoff Baker, who said he didn't learn anything from the discussion.

The board reviewed a 2003 report from the its Ad Hoc Affordable Housing Committee, and minutes of meetings of another group convened by Trustee Martha Brock, which had met monthly since November.

Jack Crowe, ad hoc committee chair, reiterated the report's findings that apartments in Oak Park are affordable, except for three-bedroom units.

Trustees questioned Crowe, and then two representatives from the Brock group, before the board remanded the groundwork on the issue to the HPAC, the Housing Programs Advisory Committee, which will update the 2003 report and help inform future board discussion.

?#34;Drew Carter

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