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ILDCEO’s Energy Efficient Affordable Housing Program State Grant Awarded to Casa Maravilla
by Alex Morales
Published: January 18, 2011
On October, 27 2010, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (ILDCEO) held a press conference at The Resurrection Project’s (TRP’s) newest affordable senior rental building Casa Maravilla, to publicize the state efforts to fund more energy efficient affordable housing in Illinois . The grant for a green senior housing project in Chicago that TRP received is part of an effort to create more energy efficient affordable housing in Illinois.
The morning event opened with ILDCEO’s Director Warren Ribley showcasing the green and energy efficient components of Casa Maravilla and the reasons the State of Illinois needs to continue investing in green technologies. ILDCEO’s $200,000 Energy Efficient Affordable Housing Program State Grant will helps The Resurrection Project offset costs for installing sustainable features at Casa Maravilla. The grant is part of the efforts of the Illinois Energy Efficient Affordable Housing Program, a program that started in 1988 and which, according to the department, has already provided more energy-efficient housing to more than 5,500 low income families. “The Resurrection Project would like to thank the state and DCEO for their commitment and investment to affordable housing project for low-income seniors,” said Raul Raymundo, Chief Executive Officer of The Resurrection Project. “With this funding we were also able to make Casa Maravilla one of the greenest buildings in the entire city and promote environmentally friendly community development initiatives.”
Casa Maravilla features a variety of green building technologies including pervious paving to decrease run-off and a partial green rooftop system reducing energy consumption and water entering the storm sewers. Casa Maravilla is also one of Chicago’s first residential buildings and low income housing tax credit buildings to utilize an innovative and environmentally geothermal heating system, which draw’s on the earth’s natural heat to both warm and cool the building. “We only have one planet,” said The Resurrection Project’s Vice President of Community Development Guacolda Reyes. “We built Casa Maravilla with this in mind; we committed ourselves to building in a way that was friendlier to the earth and would be more sustainable across generations, and then we went out and got the funding to make that happen.”
“We are delighted to live in such a beautiful building, that is affordable and close to work,” said Mr. Rafael Peña, a tailor on 18th street. He and his wife, Maria Hernandez, are Casa Maravilla tenants and active community residents. The couple has started hosting get-togethers with other seniors in the building, and they were recently captains of The Resurrection Projects voter registration drive. “We have the opportunity and the space to spend time and socialize with our neighbors,” said Mrs. Hernandez. “It’s a dream come true.”