Mercy Housing Lakefront Helps Create Nonprofit Owned REIT And Saves 128 Units of Housing in Aurora, Illinois

2000 Illinois Apartments located in Aurora, Ill.
2000 Illinois Apartments located in Aurora, Ill.

Mercy Housing Lakefront has recently acquired 128 units of affordable housing through the purchase of the 2000 Illinois Apartments complex in Aurora, Ill. The transaction was made possible through Mercy Housing’s participation in The Housing Partnership Equity Trust (HPET), a newly-created nonprofit real estate investment trust, or REIT.

HPET funds enabled Mercy Housing Lakefront to proceed from contract to closing in just three months, as opposed to approximately two years with other types of financing.

“We were only able to save this property because of the REIT,” stated Cindy Holler, President of Mercy Housing Lakefront.

With your help, Mercy Housing Lakefront will work to preserve this housing so that children succeed at school and adults have the opportunity to become more economically self-sufficient.   Our survey reports that 2000 Illinois Apartments primarily serves moderate-income singles, seniors and families with the majority of the residents earning less than $26K per year.

“We couldn’t afford any more than what we’re paying,” said Sharon Wetherbe, a 64-year-old resident who lives in the complex with her husband. She said they probably would have to move into a nursing home if they had to leave their two-bedroom apartment where they pay $855 a month.

The property is well-located in Aurora, and is just minutes away from major employment centers such as Presence Mercy Hospital as well as the I-88 office corridor and I-55 industrial and distribution centers. The building is also just minutes away from public transportation.

“We’re looking around hospital systems which are big job creators,” said Holler. “We want to make sure that the hospital systems have their work force affordably housed.”

MHL is now looking to begin capital improvements on the property to improve the safety, energy-efficiency and marketability of the building. Several of the major improvements include partial replacement if the building’s roof, addressing drainage systems and the condition of the building’s boilers. Additionally, all units will receive interior upgrades as well as common areas including the leasing office, halls, stairwells and outdoor landscaping.

The 2000 Illinois Apartments preservation is made possible by the generous philanthropic support from: Bank of America Foundation, BMO Harris Bank, Loretta and Michael Clune, Fannie Mae, Harris Family Foundation, Helen Brach Foundation, Northern Trust, Pierce & Associates, PNC Bank, John & Kathleen Schreiber Family Foundation, and US Bank.