Ribbon-cutting ceremony and neighborhood celebration mark official opening of new community that includes 60 apartments and townhomes for working individuals and families
Community leaders, newly moved-in residents and development partners celebrated the completion of Jefferson Oaks, a new 60-unit mixed-income community that transformed the vacant Thomas Jefferson School in Oak Park into affordable, high-quality residential homes for hard-working individuals and families. UnitedHealthCare, through a strategic partnership with Cinnaire and Minnesota Equity Fund, provided a $14.6 million Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) investment to support the project.
Developed by Community Housing Network (CHN), the $18.6 million community includes 20 apartments and eight new townhouse-style buildings with an additional 40 homes. In total, the new community will include nine one-bedroom apartments, 11 two-bedroom apartments, 24 three-bedroom townhomes and 16 four-bedroom townhomes. Twenty-one of the units are set aside for supportive housing.
“At Cinnaire, we have an unwavering belief that all people deserve the opportunities provided by living in healthy communities,” said Mark Mcdaniel, Cinnaire president & CEO. “A healthy community provides affordable housing, health care, education, safety, job opportunities. Many factors come to mind when designing healthy communities. Our partnership with Community Housing Network and UnitedHealthCare is the perfect example of what a healthy community can be for working class people and people with special needs. We applaud CHN, UnitedHealthCare, the Oak Park community and city officials that supported Jefferson Oaks.”
Jefferson Oaks features on-site amenities for residents, including a community room with a library, computer lab and meeting space, and a playground. Residents have access to on-site support services that include regular family activities, education courses, health resources and social service programs. There is also controlled entry and security features, along with 120 off-street, surface parking spaces.
“This is an exciting day as we celebrate all the hard work that took what was a dream and turned it into this wonderful new community for individuals and families to work, live, and build a brighter future,” said Marc Craig, president of Community Housing Network. “This couldn’t have happened without the support from so many partners and members of the community who have been with us throughout this journey, and we are so grateful for that commitment.”
The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, State Representative Robert Wittenberg and Oak Park Mayor Marian McClellan, among other dignitaries. The event was followed with a neighborhood celebration picnic for residents and the Oak Park community with healthy food, entertainment, and fun family activities.
“Jefferson Oaks is a model for how we can all come together to provide individuals and families greater access to quality, affordable housing,” said Congresswoman Lawrence. “I applaud all of the partners for their support and innovative thinking to transform a vacant school building into this beautiful, vibrant new community.”
“Access to safe and affordable housing is one of the greatest obstacles to better health, affecting people’s well-being and quality of life,” said Dennis Mouras, CEO, UnitedHealthCare Community Plan of Michigan. “UnitedHealthCare is grateful for the opportunity to have partnered with other socially minded organizations that understand the value of good health, and how public-private partnerships like Jefferson Oaks can succeed in helping make a positive impact in our communities.”