New Moms, Inc., a nonprofit that provides transitional housing for low-income mothers is planning to build a four-story building at 206-212 Chicago Ave. that will include 18 more permanent apartments and ground-level office space.
Laura Zumdahl, president and CEO of New Moms, tells Wednesday Journal that the $6.9 million project will provide new housing for New Moms and office space for the organization.
The organization is receiving $5.9 million from the Illinois Housing Development Authority and $825,000 from IFF, a community development financial institution, to pay for construction of the 21,000-square-foot structure.
She said the organization still is fundraising for about $500,000 needed to complete the project.
The property is currently occupied King's Kidz Academy. A representative of King's Kidz Academy could not be reached for comment.
Zumdahl explained that the 18 affordable units will not be "transitional housing" like the New Moms 40-unit building at 5317 W. Chicago Ave. in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago, which opened in 2013.
Those living in transitional housing – for those transitioning from homelessness – are allowed to stay in the units for a maximum of two years; whereas, those living in the new affordable units can stay as long as they'd like, Zumdahl said.
The organization is building the project within the standards set by the Oak Park zoning ordinance, so New Moms will not need to appear before the local Zoning Board of Appeals or the Plan Commission for approval.
Zumdahl said New Moms is still in the process of closing on the purchase of the land, but they aim to break ground on the project in early 2018.
New Moms has spent the last 30 years operating out of a 2nd-floor office at Euclid Avenue Methodist Church. The new facility will provide programming space and office space for the group, Zumdahl said.
"It's been a good home, but it's getting too small for us," she said. "We want a storefront – something that is a little more accessible and has more visibility."
Zumdahl said there is a "deep need" for affordable housing for families in the area
New Moms held its annual fundraiser and gala at the 19th Century Club in Oak Park on Friday, Oct. 6, where Zumdahl announced the new project.
"We're excited to announce that the parts are coming together and we're moving forward on that building project," she said.
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