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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Latest Park Forest SSTI Rehab Effort Nears Completion

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Rehab work on the most recent South Suburban Trades Initiative (SSTI) house in Park Forest is nearing completion. Located at 74 Marquette Street, the property will be ready to house seven AmeriCorps volunteers for the summer and placed on the market as early as this Fall.

brick and siding house under final Park Forest rehab with green grass in front
Not quite complete, the SSTI project at 74 Marquette Street will house AmeriCorps volunteers this summer. (Photo John Hudzik)

Funded by a grant from the Strong Communities Program of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, the home has undergone a massive transformation. The roof was replaced, and all interior walls were taken down to the studs and rebuilt with new insulation and drywall. There is new plumbing throughout the house, and a collapsed sewer problem was resolved. Every window was replaced with low-emissivity (low-E) glass which helps moderate the interior temperature. The exterior walls and attic were insulated, and a new energy-efficient heat and air conditioning system was installed. As now required in all new constructions and major renovations in Park Forest, the house is also equipped with a sprinkler system.

As with other SSTI projects undertaken by the village, students from South Suburban College Building Construction Technology program and Prairie State HVAC training curriculum assisted in the work. In addition, multiple union organizations provided their expertise at no cost. Sprinkler Fitters Local 281, Painters District Council 14, and the Chicagoland Roofers’ Joint Apprentice and Training Committee – Local 11 all contributed their time to the project, as did the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA).

interior of house with showing studs but no walls or ceiling drywall
The SSTI team rebuilt and insulated every wall and ceiling in the house. This picture is from October, 2021. (Photo John Hudzik)

According to David Tracy, the Village of Park Forest Manager of the project, the work completed will make this house one of the best insulated and energy efficient homes in the village.

Interior updates include new appliances, cabinets, countertops, stone flooring, carpeting, and a totally renovated bathroom. There is still some work to be completed on the exterior of the house and the garage, but Tracy is confident that it will be done by the time the AmeriCorps volunteers arrive in July.

Tracy has already begun work on the next SSTI project located at 76 Winslow Street in Park Forest. Overgrown trees have been removed so a new roof can be installed. Asbestos and mold-removal work has also been completed. The same college and union participation used to rehab the Marquette Street house is expected on this project.

house with overgrown lawn, falling gutters, and missing siding
76 Winslow Street is the next property to be rehabbed by the Park Forest SSTI program (Photo John Hudzik)

Rehabbed SSTI properties are in high demand in the current hot south suburban housing market. The rehabbed house at 117 Wilson, which also temporarily housed AmeriCorps volunteers last year, is reported on Zillow as under contract for $225,000. This same house sold in 2009 for $56,000, again per Zillow. Profits made on the sale of refurbished houses are used to finance the work on future projects.

blue and brick house with long driveway and detached garage
The house at 117 Wilson was a recent SSTI rehabbed project and is now under contract to be sold (Photo John Hudzik)

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