McHenry County Receives National Honor for Veteran Affordable Housing
WOODSTOCK, Ill. – The McHenry County Community Development Division received national recognition for its work in establishing a home catering to veterans in need and people with disabilities.
The department was honored at a Jan. 31 ceremony in Washington, D.C. with a 2020 Audrey Nelson Community Development Award for the Pearl Street Commons, a 25-unit development built in 2018 at 3512 Pearl Street in downtown McHenry. An allocation of HOME Investment Partnership Program funds was the stepping stone that enabled the project to obtain the remaining needed capital funding.
The National Community Development Association, a national non-profit organization representing local governments that administer economic development and affordable housing programs, bestows only five Audrey Nelson awards nationwide each year.
Pearl Street Commons is administered by Full Circle Communities, a Chicago-based agency dedicated to expanding access to quality affordable housing.
“The availability of permanent supportive housing for our disabled and veteran populations is paramount,” McHenry County Community Development Administrator Hans Mach said. “We are grateful for our partnership with Full Circle Communities in making this vision a reality.”
The $7 million development, built in 2018, consists of 25 one- and two-bedroom apartments for veterans and people with disabilities. The building boasts a library, computer lab, community room and other amenities. Local non-profit service providers TLS Veterans, which provides help for veterans in need, and the Association for Individual Development, which provides independent living solutions for the disabled, provide services to residents at no cost – AID maintains an office in the commons to provide social services to residents.
Full Circle Communities manages more than 800 facilities in three states, with another 250 approved or under construction.
The federal HOME program administered by the Community Development Division provides formula grants to state and local governments, often partnering with local nonprofit groups, to fund the construction, purchase, and/or rehabilitation of affordable housing for low-income people.