War Vet to Get a Free Chicago-Area Home

April 01, 2011

While there isn’t much Chicago-area new home construction going up these days, volunteers did break ground this week in one west suburban community to build just that for a war veteran.

Sergio Lopez, 28, served two tours of duty in Iraq and lost both of his legs below the knees when he was hit by a roadside bomb in 2006.

Thanks to the Hillside Disabled Veterans Home Project, Lopez and his family will soon have a brand new home . . . for free.

The proposed Lopez home.

The proposed two-story house, at 34 Oak Avenue in Hillside, has become possible after more than a year of fund-raising and planning.

And while organizers came up about $30,000 short of the total $250,000 cost, officials decided to get started anyway.

The 2,600-square-foot home will be built on a 6,500-square-foot lot donated by developer Plote Companies, a group that helped set up the nonprofit organization to raise support for the project.

No tax money will be used to construct the home, which will include three bedrooms and an attached garage.

Lopez, his wife, Maria, 26, and their daughters, Sasha, 7, and Sofia, 4, currently live in Joliet.

Appropriately enough, officials are estimating the completion date to be July 4.

For more information on this initiative, or to donate to the cause, visit hdvhp.com.

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