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Applications being taken for senior housing in Aurora

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The Aurora Housing Authority has started taking applications for the 70 affordable senior citizen housing units at the 1449 Senior Estates development in Aurora.

City and Aurora Housing Authority officials held an event Tuesday announcing the beginning of applications for the units, which officials estimate could be ready for occupancy by September.

“So begins a new era for affordable housing in the city of Aurora,” said Mayor Richard Irvin, who himself grew up in public housing in the city. “This is the new standard.”

That new standard will be contained in a combination of one- and two-bedroom homes in some one-story duplexes and some one-story single-family residences at 1449 Jericho Road on the far West Side of the city.

People interested in applying for the new units packed an event held this week to announce the beginning of applications, and to give people a chance to see a model of the new units.

The interest was such that people braved a steady, cold rain that turned the 12-acre construction site into a muddy swamp. Despite the weather, people lined up for tours of the models, and had plenty of questions about how the application process would work.

Ralph Jordan, Aurora Housing Authority director, stressed that all inhabitants of the units must be at least 62 years old. There also is a household income eligibility of between $15,000 to $45,000 a year. Once selected, occupants will pay rent of 30% of their income.

This week began what Jordan described as the start of the application procedure, which must be done through the website of the Northern Lights Development Corp., the not-for-profit arm of the housing authority which is developing the Jericho site.

People interested should go to nldcorp.org, and click on the “Apply for Housing” link. People will be required to give minimal information, Jordan said. Later in the process, as people are contacted by the Aurora Housing Authority, applicants will have to give more detailed information.

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin speaks at an event to kick off pre-applications for 70 new affordable housing units at 1449 Senior Estates. Steve Lord photo
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin speaks at an event Tuesday to kick off applications for 70 affordable housing units in the new 1449 Senior Estates development in the city. (Steve Lord / The Beacon-News)

While anyone can apply for the housing, people who are already residents of Aurora will be given preference. There also will be a preference given to veterans.

Jordan said if people have difficulty using the online application, they can call the Aurora Housing Authority at 630-701-9977 and get help. Katrina Boatright, the city of Aurora manager of Senior and Disability Services, said people can also call the city’s customer service line at 630-256-4636 to get help.

Jordan said they will probably take about 300 applications and start getting back to people in May, although he said he is unsure of that date because he does not know how long it will take to get the 300 applications.

The development will feature a clubhouse, on-site management offices, a media center, fitness club, pickleball courts and an outdoor community area. Jordan said the walking path winding through the development will go by the nearby Jericho Lake, and even have places for people to sit and enjoy the lake.

“This is not just to live affordable, but well affordable,” Boatright said.

The first phase of the 1449 Senior Estates development in Aurora is nearing completion, city officials said this week. The neighborhood will featured 70 duplexes and single-family affordable homes for seniors. (City of Aurora)
The first phase of the 1449 Senior Estates development in Aurora is nearing completion, city officials said this week. The neighborhood will feature 70 duplexes and single-family affordable homes for seniors. (City of Aurora)

While officials were upbeat about the new affordable housing, they agreed there needs to be more in Aurora. The Aurora Housing Authority has a waiting list of about 2,600, and the average wait time on the list is 605 days, according to city officials.

“We’re hoping something else is coming, because we know there’s more of a need,” Boatright said.

Irvin said 1449 Senior Estates “is the inaugural.”

“This will not be the last,” he said. “What you see here we want Ralph Jordan to duplicate.”

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