‘We’re going to grow hope for people’: Long-planned supportive housing development breaks …

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Work on a long-planned supportive housing development that will serve people with disabilities or mental health issues or who are experiencing homelessness began Thursday on the east side of Elgin.

Hanover Landing will provide 40-units of permanent supportive housing at 711 E. Chicago St. Residents will live independently as tenants while being offered on- and off-site resources tailored to their needs.

“These projects are so incredibly important to our community,” said state Rep. Anna Moeller, an Elgin Democrat. “The fact that we’re going to be providing wraparound services inside the supportive housing project is so vital. We can’t just provide housing; we need to provide the infrastructure and the daily supports they need.”

Hanover Township will work with local agencies and organizations to deliver community-based services and will partner with the Ecker Center for Mental Health, which will be the lead provider of behavioral health services at Hanover Landing.

Ecker Center Executive Director Daphne Sandouka said the organization felt “fortunate” to have been chosen to partner with the township.

“This gives us such a great opportunity to be in there and offer a comprehensive service,” she said. “Not only do we specialize in substance abuse, but mental health as well, so being able to integrate those cares is going to be awesome.”

The project’s origins go back to 2015, when Hanover Township established a mental health housing task force, which identified a need for service-enriched housing for residents with disabilities and special needs. The task force partnered with UPholdings, an affordable housing development and management company that partners with communities.

The development was approved by the Elgin City Council in 2018.

“This project took a little longer — we’re government,” state Sen. Christina Castro, an Elgin Democrat, joked while acknowledging the challenges with the project.

Castro said though it took a lot of work from numerous government and private agencies, the investment will be worth it.

“This is a great facility that’s going to help so many people across this area,” she said.

The $16.5 million project, which is expected to be completed in 2023, was paid for with Cook and Kane counties’ HOME funds, Illinois Housing Development Authority gap funds and tax equity funds.

Dozens of local officials who helped shepherd the project along donned helmets and grabbed shovels Thursday to break ceremonial ground. Heavy equipment stood at the ready to start the real work as soon as the ceremony ended.

Elgin Mayor David Kaptain likened the groundbreaking to gardening.

“We’re going to grow things,” Kaptain said. “We’re going to grow hope for people. We’re going to grow an opportunity for people that have mental illness to have a new life.”

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September 1, 2022 at 06:06PM

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