JERSEYVILLE – For residents like maintenance worker John Boyd, Lexington Farms Subdivision’s wind and solar power yields utility bill savings to make living more affordable.
“Living at Lexington Farms Subdivision means I have an affordable monthly rent and consistently low electric bills,” Boyd said.
On behalf of the administration of Governor Pat Quinn, Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) representatives joined community leaders today at a grand opening celebration for a Jerseyville development that has the distinction of being the first affordable housing development to garner the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum designation from the U.S. Green Building Council.
IHDA invested more than $1.6 million to build the Jerseyville development, providing federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds and federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. The tax credits, which were a result of a special allocation for counties hit by severe flooding, generated an additional $6.7 million in private equity for the development. A $260,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) further demonstrates the State of Illinois’ commitment to building green.
“As the state housing agency under Governor Pat Quinn, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) has worked to create stronger incentives for developers to build green,” said IHDA Executive Director Mary R. Kenney. “IHDA understands connection between creating energy-efficient, sustainable affordable housing – and healthy, stronger communities – and we applaud developments like this for increasing affordability for residents. In addition to its green features, Lexington Farms Subdivision also enables residents to live near the workplace and spend less money on their commute.”
Developed by Capstone Development Group, each of the 32 single-family rental homes at Lexington Farms Subdivision has solar panels and wind turbines to drop utility bills for residents. Street lights dotting the development also run on the green technology. As an added environmentally-friendly feature, the development is landscaped with more water absorbent native plants.
Each home can produce up to 8.2 kilowatts of energy through roof-mounted solar panels and turbines, providing no-cost electricity to the entire subdivision. Green technology will keep utility costs close to zero, and in some cases electric bills will reflect a credit for electricity contributed to the grid.
Lexington Farms Subdivision also will create homeownership opportunities by providing the option for qualified residents to be able to purchase their homes through a rent-to-own program. Each home includes three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and an attached two-car garage. A separate building in the development will feature a clubhouse/resource center, community room, conference room and computer lab.
Lexington Farms Subdivision continues IHDA’s commitment to encouraging developers to incorporate environmental features. IHDA currently mandates the following green initiatives for affordable housing developers seeking federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits:
• Low-flow faucets, shower heads and toilets
• Native vegetation, which are more water absorbent
• Energy Star appliances
• Energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems
• Must provide a manual to property owners with information on how to properly maintain green features
Developers are increasingly meeting IHDA’s challenge to build green. As an incentive, IHDA encourages green production by awarding more points to proposals incorporating additional green technology, such as solar and wind power, in scoring developments seeking federal tax credits.
“Thanks to IHDA, this net-zero community is enhancing affordability for residents. That’s another $200 a month that can be used for clothes, food, education and bills. That’s the reason we do what we do,” said Bill Luchini, president of Capstone Development Group.
Demonstrating the need for affordable housing in the community, the development is fully occupied. To qualify for the affordable apartments, applicants must earn at or below 60 percent of the average median income in Jersey County, or $33,840 for a two-person household. For additional information, call (618) 639-1040.