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Leasing to start for workforce housing at two former Aurora schools

Leasing for Aurora’s new worker housing at two former West Side schools is expected to begin in the next 30 to 40 days.

That’s what City Hall said about the 47 worker housing units at the former Lincoln and Todd schools.

The project includes the redevelopment of the old schools and a new building on the Lincoln School site at 641 S. Lake St. All housing is a mix of studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

The renovation of Todd School, 100 Oak Ave., includes a 5,000-square-foot public health facility, which will be managed by VNA Health of Aurora, to provide free and subsidized care and community initiatives for use residents of West Aurora School. District school-aged children.

The City Council approved using $2.9 million from its HOME Investment Partnerships allocation for projects in 2022, as well as $600,000 from its Community Development Block Grant funds, both government-funded programs federal.

The projects are being developed by Oak Brook-based Visionary Ventures and will be owned and managed by Fox Valley Apartments, which will also be named after the buildings.

The projects were structured as a three-entity partnership between the city, Visionary Ventures and Fox Valley Apartments.

The housing is intended for working people, who must meet background checks and income eligibility requirements as permitted by the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

This state agency made public housing tax credits available to developers to finance the bulk of development.

Visionary Ventures said the apartments will be a mix of studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units for tenants making 30 to 60 percent of the area median income.

That means the units are aimed at people earning between $18,000 and $63,000 a year, depending on family size. Tenants would pay for electricity for lighting, cooking, and air conditioning, and the landlord would pay for heat, water, sewer, and trash.

Lincoln and Todd were elementary schools in the West Aurora School District that closed. Both contained significant works of public art, created by artists as part of the Works Progress Administration’s public art initiative during the Great Depression.

City officials have guaranteed they will find new venues for art — mostly murals, but also a few Todd School figurines — to be displayed in public buildings.

The artwork has been saved and stored, but authorities don’t yet know where it will go.

“We have not yet finalized the plan for displaying the project’s murals,” said Alex Alexandrou, the city’s general manager.

slord@tribpub.com

Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from www.chicagotribune.com

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