One of the more discouraging stories the Review told this year was of a derelict mid-rise south on Desplaines Avenue. There are 60 units, mostly seniors and many of them on Section 8 housing vouchers. And then came an early-year fire that left a dozen units uninhabitable, the residents relocated to a hotel in Oak Brook for months on end.
It was in the woefully inadequate response to that fire, to reclaiming units, to getting people back home, that the long-term and aggressive mismanagement of this building became clear. The village finally acted with a raft of inspections and discovered infractions. HUD, which backs the Section 8 funding, also landed on the ownership.
And that, in part, led to the Sellas family finally agreeing to sell the building.
So as this year ends, New Frontier, the new owners — who haven’t even closed on the building yet — are working hard to repair fire-damaged units. And New Frontier is pledging to spend $3 million across the building to gut-rehab 40 units and upgrade the rest.
This could be a happy new year for building residents and for the village.