Built over 30 years ago, the Jane Perlman Apartments and the Victor Walchirk Apartments needed significant upgrades. Leaky roofs had created water damage, and the apartments were filled with out outdated appliances and worn floors. Making the upgrades even more urgent: the approximately 200 apartments were some of the only affordable homes available to seniors and residents with special needs in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb just north of Chicago.
To make such a large-scale rehabilitation possible, the Cook County Housing Authority (which owns the developments) converted the Section 9 public housing to a 20-year project-based rental assistance contract under HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. RAD enables public housing agencies to leverage public and private capital to reinvest in – and preserve – public housing. Given the country’s $25.6 billion backlog of public housing capital improvements, RAD has quickly become an essential program.
After 16 months of work, during which the residents were temporarily relocated to parts of the buildings not being repaired, the updated Perlman and Walchirk are vibrant fixtures along a residential tree-lined street. Outside, new windows and doors add to the curb appeal. Inside, the safety and efficiency of the developments have been improved while residents enjoy upgrades like new flooring and appliances.
Richard Monocchio, the director of the Cook County Housing Authority, which oversaw the upgrades, says: “The fact that we made this $28 million commitment sends a strong message to communities that these buildings are going to stay. They’re going to stay for low-income seniors and disabled people for another 30 or 40 years.” He added: “People deserve to live in dignity.” Read Richard's story in his own words.
Enterprise is proud to have been a partner of the Housing Authority of Cook County on the renovation of the Perlman and Walchirk developments:
- Equity: $15.6 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity (Bank of America was the investor)
- Debt: A $3.4 million mortgage loan from Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital
- Capacity Building: Enterprise helped develop the capacity to undertake these large-scale renovations.
- RAD: Enterprise helped design the demonstration, advocated its importance to lawmakers and led efforts to lift RAD’s cap beyond its initial authorization.
- Transit-Oriented: the developments are in walking distance to train and bus stops
After recovering from years of substance addiction, Lamar Adams found his home in the Perlman. “I'm batting 1,000,” says Lamar, who has lived in the Perlman for two years. “I feel at home now. I'm living in one of the best suburbs around Chicago. I can walk around. I can breathe. I can go outside. I’m grateful.” Read Lamar's story in his own words.
May Morgan says her home “is a big turnaround, a 200 percent improvement” over her prior apartment. The new home is a welcome change from the tumult she faced earlier in her life. Abandoned by her father, mistreated by her foster family, and abducted from her home, May has found a level of solace in her new home. Read May's story in her own words.
Close to Northwestern University and numerous shops, the Perlman and Walchirk are both transit-oriented developments, in walking distance to Chicago’s elevated train and numerous bus stops. The area is pedestrian friendly with wide parkways and mature trees. Single-family homes, parks, schools, churches and libraries are abundant in the area.