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updated: 7/29/2013 7:21 PM

Tax credits finance apartment improvements in Grayslake and Island Lake

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Subsidized apartment complexes in Grayslake and Island Lake will receive multimillion-dollar makeovers through the allocation of federal tax credits.

The Lakewood Village complexes in both communities are among nine projects that will receive federal tax credits allocated by the Illinois Housing Development Authority. The agency announced recently those credits will generate more than $62.2 million in private equity to create and preserve affordable rental housing units.

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VeriGreen Residential Development recently acquired the 48-unit complex at 125 Glen St. in Grayslake and the 36-unit property at 4113 Beach St. in Island Lake. Both were built about 30 years ago, according to Stephen Rappin, president of the development company and its management arm, Evergreen Real Estate Services.

"We're primarily an affordable housing company. They were existing Section 8 units," he said. "Our goal was to preserve those as affordable housing so we applied for tax credits through IHDA."

Federal housing credits are sold to private investors to raise money, which in turn reduces the need for developers to borrow money for new projects, resulting in lower rents, according to IHDA. Rappin said there were 65 applications for the credits.

The result will be a total $3.5 million rehab investment in the Grayslake and Island Lake properties, according to Rappin.

"The plan is to give these things a pretty good facelift," he said.

The work will involve new roofs, siding, paint, playgrounds and improved landscaping, and a library/computer room and community garden at each location. Also, kitchens and baths will be upgraded with energy-efficient appliances and fixtures, as well as new carpet and paint. The intent is to achieve Enterprise Green Communities certification.

Residents who live in 67 of the 84 units have to earn at or below 50 percent of the area median income for a two-person household, which is $29,450. Residents in the remaining 17 units must be at or below 30 percent of that amount, according to IHDA.

Work is expected to begin late this year or early next year and will create 78 jobs.

Evergreen will partner with YouthBuild Lake County, which provides trade education for underprivileged kids, and the appliances that are removed will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

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