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After undergoing heart valve replacement surgery two years ago, Ruth Bellows realized living around people who care would be necessary to sustain her recovery.
Ruth says she found the community support she needed at an affordable rent at St. James Senior Estates affordable senior housing development in Crete in suburban Chicago.
The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) invested approximately $7 million to build the 45-unit development, including a $2.5 million federal HOME loan. Other IHDA financing came from federal stimulus funds and Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits.
In October 2010, Ruth became one of the first residents to move into phase two of the St. James development after it became difficult for her to maintain the two-bedroom home that she rented. She receives a rental subsidy for her new St. James apartment.
 “At my age, I like to have someone around just in case I need them. The staff really cares about the residents. If I had a problem, I know they would be right there to assist me,” she says. “I feel so much more relaxed and peaceful living at St. James Senior Estates.”
St. James Senior Estates was developed by St. Joseph Senior Housing, a division of the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago Service Corp., sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Chicago, and complements the 40-unit St. James Senior Estates apartments for independent seniors that IHDA also financed in 2006.
As an added benefit, an estimated 68 jobs were created with the construction of St. James Senior Estates.