More than 180 people are on a waiting list for The Residences of Lake in the Hills, a senior living development on Village Hall Drive.
The 92-unit building is the first of its kind in Lake in the Hills, offering affordable housing to the 55 and older population. The first seniors moved in to the DKI development in March of 2012 with the last apartment occupied that August. The official grand opening, though, brought supporters and residents together Monday morning to celebrate more than a year of occupancy.
Seniors make up nearly 10 percent of McHenry County's entire population and their numbers are set to more than double by 2030. Tina Hill, chairman of the McHenry County Board, said the fact is the community needs affordable housing for independent seniors.
"The senior population wants to stay in the community they helped build and they love, where their families are," Hill said. "Not everybody wants to or can retire to Arizona or Florida."
Hill attended the grand opening ceremony Monday.
The Residences are a combination of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units with access to a fitness center, computer center, library and gazebo. A walking path connects the building to the Lake in the Hills Village Hall, where plenty of senior programming is hosted by the Parks and Recreation Department.
Village President Paul Mulcahy said many people who live in the Residences have participated in senior-specific programs at village hall over the last year.
Like Hill, he pointed to the growing need for senior housing in the community.
"This is also quality, comfortable, affordable housing," Mulcahy said. "It's a very nice place. We're happy to have it."
McHenry County, the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, JP Morgan Chase and Chicago Federal Home Loan Bank all partnered to make the $20.5 million project possible.
Rent starts at $550 for studios with more expensive one- and two-bedroom options available.