Chicago, Illinois – Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Alderman Margaret Laurino, EHDOC President and CEO, Steve Protulis, elected officials and labor leaders to cut the ribbon celebrating the official grand opening of J. Michael Fitzgerald Apartments, a new, state-of-the-art five-story building on the North Park Village campus at 5801 N. Pulaski Road. The apartments will provide housing for 63 low-income seniors.
“This development is a win-win – it will provide quality affordable housing to seniors in North Park while honoring an individual that helped build Chicago into the thriving international city it is today,” Mayor Emanuel said. “It’s the perfect example of what Chicago’s five-year plan to invest $1.3 billion in affordable housing is designed to do.”
"The setting and amenities at North Park Village have made this one of the most sought-after senior housing facilities in Chicago," said Alderman Margaret Laurino (39th Ward). "The additional housing means more seniors will enjoy living in a safe, and beautiful environment."
The $19.5 million building includes 63 one-bedroom units with living/dining room, bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. To keep seniors out of harm’s way, stoves are equipped with a safety feature that automatically turns off the burners if the stove is left unattended. Building amenities include a community room, fitness center, library/computer lab, free laundry facility and two patios. Each floor has a separate lounge area.
“In the United States, our seniors become more vulnerable every day. As funding for affordable housing continues to decrease, more seniors find themselves without a place to live,” said Steve Protulis, EHDOC President and CEO. “The lack of affordable housing for seniors nationwide means more projects like J. Michael Fitzgerald are needed. The seniors at J. Michael Fitzgerald Apartments and their families have peace of mind knowing they are safe, secure and are living with dignity.”
An on-site service coordinator manages programs to help residents of J. Michael Fitzgerald maintain their independence so they can live in their new home for as long as possible and avoid premature admission to more institutionalized care. Annual assessments determine if a resident is frail or at risk, and if a referral for additional services is required. In that case, the resident is linked to services such as home health aides for personal care and housekeeping, case management, meal programs, and transportation. The service coordinator also assists residents with prescriptions, entitlement and wellness programs.
Four additional residences managed by EHDOC are on the North Park Village campus and within walking distance of J. Michael Fitzgerald: Prete Apartments, Edward M. Marx Apartments, North Park Village Apartments and Senate Apartments, the only facility with a dining room to serve all residents. There is a total of 600 residences within North Park Village.
All units in the five-story building are available to seniors aged 62 years and older earning up to 60 percent of the area median income, $33,180 for a one-person household. All units filled as soon as they were made available, leaving 400 seniors on the waiting list for affordable housing.