Innovative Housing Solutions: LAC Breaks Ground on Affordable Senior Living in Rochelle, Illinois

As champions of affordable housing in America, at Multifamily Leadership, we monitor any breakthrough that supports this mission. It is with great enthusiasm, therefore, that we share the recent groundbreaking news from Rochelle, Illinois. Innovators in the housing field, Lincoln Avenue Communities (LAC), have broken ground on the future site of Willis Senior Lofts, a 60-unit affordable housing development for lower-income seniors in Ogle County.

This marks LAC’s second new construction deal in Illinois, proving its consistency in designing and implementing housing projects that matter. What stands out for us about the Willis Senior Lofts is its admirable focus on low-income aging citizens. Forty-five of the development’s units will be reserved for households earning less than 60% of the median income for the area, with another 15 units earmarked for those earning less than 30% of AMI.

“This is exactly the kind of initiative we look out for in our community, developments that truly drive towards balanced growth and equal housing opportunities. Kudos to LAC and team for this ongoing initiative,” John Bearrows, Mayor of Rochelle commented on the much-needed initiative.

The desire to see seniors magnificently housed is not the only noteworthy aspect of this LAC project. Set for completion in spring 2025, Willis Senior Lofts will also be Enterprise Green and Net Zero-certified. This shows LAC’s understanding of the multifamily investment in reviewing not just social, but also environmental sustainability. On top of this, the development plans to offer numerous amenities like a fitness center, theater room, walking path, and a raised community garden space.

Addressing the growing need for senior housing requires creative funding solutions. This project pulls together a unique mix of financial instruments including Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, a soft first mortgage from the Illinois Housing Development Authority, $4.9 million in IHDA soft funds and 45L energy efficiency credit equity. Such a diverse funding structure signifies the level of commitment from different stakeholders to provide quality housing for the elderly population.

As this ground-breaking project progresses, we, at the Multifamily Leadership, continue to stand as supporters of the hard work of the developers, investors, community leaders, and financing partners who all step up to the plate to create essential housing options for our aging population. They remind us that in the face of significant obstacles, innovative solutions pave way to infinite possibilities for bringing about change.