Joliet, IL - The Housing Authority of Joliet (HAJ) announced that the 68-units in the new Water’s Edge development have been occupied. The department had a celebration with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this past Thursday.
The new Water’s Edge has been built on the site of what were the Des Plaines Garden Homes which was the City of Joliet’s first public housing project. The Garden Homes were demolished last year in order to make way for the new mixed-income development. The number of units was reduced from 122 units in the Des Plaines Garden Homes to only 68 units in the new Water’s Edge. The new development will have tenants with anywhere from 30-60% of Area Median Income. The Garden Homes had 30% and lower of Area Median Income.
“This is no longer public housing,” said Michael Simelton, chief executive officer of Housing Authority of Joliet. “This is affordable housing. This is what affordable housing looks like.”
The residents receive federal subsidies based on income to help pay rent for rent that can range anywhere from $1,000 to $1,400 a month. The money that the tenants pay in rent can be used towards a down payment on a home after fifteen years. “This is moving them toward self-sufficiency and home ownership,” CEO of HAJ Michael Simelton said.
The first rights were given to Des Plaines Garden Homes tenants. These tenants had received Section 8 vouchers to subsidize rent at new homes after the complex was demolished. There were 16 tenants who chose to come back to the new development with the last unit being occupied earlier in October.