This building at 131 Callan Ave. has been rehabbed and will be rented to income-eligible tenants at an affordable cost. HODC photo

An unusual building in the 100 block of Callan Avenue has just received a major renovation. The one-story building contains four large one-bedroom apartments that will be rented to income-eligible tenants.

The renovation will make the apartments energy-efficient and lower monthly utility bills. In addition to change to the interiors, HODC installed a new roof and windows, updated the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systms, hung new cabinets and instal-led new fixtures and appliances, said HODC Housing Developer Cynthia MacLeod.

Green, or sustainable, elements include the energy-efficient lighting, the high-efficiency HVAC systems, R-49 attic insulation, double-glazed windows, sealed duct work, Energy Star appliances and 85 percent energy-efficient water-heaters, said Ms. McLeod. Finally, HODC says, the HelioMaxx solar [water] system is designed to eliminate 50-80% of a home’s hot water bills and can pay itself in seven years or less and will provide free hot water for up to 30 years. These efficiencies will help lower the monthly utility bills and keep maintenance costs down, she said. HODC will rent the apartments for $850 per month, said Ms. MacLeod.

“The units are very large, and each has a basement,” said Mary Ellen Poole, who works in affordable housing for the City. HODC’s rehab is a “huge improvement. Evanston’s housing stock is so old that the best thing to do is rehab,” she added. The City gave HODC a “forgivable loan” of $300,000 in HOME funds – federal funds passed to municipalities to be used for affordable housing – and HODC must keep the units affordable for 15 years, she said. The City will monitor the building, tenants’ income and other things for 15 years, she said. After that, if all requirements have been met, the City will forgive the loan and HODC will own the building.