Mayor Anthony Calderone was in Maywood last week speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for the renovation of a 26-unit apartment building that will be turned into affordable housing.

The renovation is the first project to be undertaken by the new West Cook County Housing Collaborative. The collaborative is a joint effort by the villages of Forest Park, Oak Park, Bellwood, Berwyn and Maywood to deliver local, affordable housing.

Also participating in the ceremony were Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Oak Park Village President David Pope and Maywood Mayor Henderson Yarbrough, Sr.

“It’s nice to stand here to see the things we’ve been talking about become reality,” said Calderone, at the brief outdoor ceremony that was held in biting cold weather in front of the yellow brick apartment building at 1015-1017 S. 4th Ave. in Maywood.

Calderone said that he first heard about the collaborative when he and Pope met and talked about the idea at an Oak Park coffee shop two years ago.

The Maywood project is being funded with $3.2 million the collaborative received from the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The federal money is distributed to Cook County, which, in turn, doled out the $3.2 million to the West Cook County Housing Collaborative.

“This kind of housing is the foundation of our neighborhoods and I’m glad the county was able to contribute resources to this effort,” Preckwinkle said.

The collaborative bought the building it is now renovating; and no Forest Park money is being spent on the Maywood project.

The Maywood Apartments project is expected to be completed by October. When finished, the courtyard building will have eight one-bedroom apartments, six one- bedroom-plus-den units and 12 two-bedrooms.

Half of the apartments will be available to renters earning no more than 50 percent of area median income – $37,700 for a family of four. The remaining apartments will be leased to those making no more than 120 percent of area median income – $90,480 for a family of four.

Rentals are expected to range from $650 a month for the basic one-bedroom apartments to $775 for the two-bedroom units.

Schaumberg-based North West Housing Cooperative will manage the building.

The collaborative’s next project is the renovation of three single-family homes in Bellwood.

Forest Park officials hope that eventually some money will flow into the village.

“We’re working daily to try and convince the county to let us start spending some of it [money] on single family homes,” said Forest Park Village Administrator Tim Gillian.