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updated: 6/17/2013 3:37 PM

Low-income apartment complex put on hold in Carol Stream

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A $6.5 million, 25-unit affordable housing development intended for low-income residents in Carol Stream is on hold after state funding for the project was denied.

The Charles Apartments, a three-story building proposed for a vacant 2.7-acre parcel at 24W211 St. Charles Road, was to be considered by the village's plan commission/zoning board of appeals last week for zoning approvals, and the village board for final approval Monday night. But the variance requests were withdrawn after the developer, New Directions Housing Corporation, got word that the Illinois Housing Development Authority rejected a funding application to pay for construction costs.

Bob Glees, the village's community development director, wrote in his weekly email report to plan commissioners that IHDA scored New Directions Housing's application lower than others that applied for funding this year because of the amount of investment already made in Carol Stream.

The state authority has financed four other rental housing projects in Carol Stream that comprise about 1,000 of the village's 4,400 rental units, Glees said.

The nonprofit development corporation had sought low-interest loans, grants and housing tax credits through IHDA's Low-Income Housing Tax Credits program to finance the apartments' construction.

The corporation, founded in 1994, has rehabilitated more than 450 multifamily units at a cost of $50 million in municipalities that include Chicago, Aurora, Lake Villa and Glenview.

Typical rental rates at the corporation's apartments are below market rate since projects are financed with state funds, officials said.

The state Affordable Housing Planning Act passed in 2003 mandates that all municipalities with populations over 1,000 have at least 10 percent of housing units classified as "affordable." In Carol Stream, 24 percent of housing units have that classification, Glees said.

Rodger Brown, the president of New Directions Housing, said the corporation would try to seek other state and federal funding sources to pay for the project.

"The project's not dead," Brown said. "We're still looking at other funding sources."

Glees said the requested zoning case can remain active for 180 days, and perhaps be extended if requested by the corporation. But the project would have to be resubmitted if funding isn't secured soon.

The Charles Apartments project was proposed for the south side of St. Charles Road, about 880 feet east of Schmale Road.

The developer had sought a zoning change that would have allowed residential use on the land. It is currently zoned for retail use, and the village's future land use plan recommends such use for the parcel.

But village community development department staff members said the rezoning would have been compatible with existing adjacent zoning and developments, which includes apartment buildings to the east and south, and single-family homes to the west.

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