Articles

An Excellent Night for Affordable Housing

On Monday, February 4, the City Council held one of its special quarterly meetings on Affordable Housing. City staff gave its report on progress (see pages 4 - 7 in the Board packet ). As you can see, they have been working on many fronts. Most exciting is that their report included movement towards some new affordable housing developments--the most the...

2018 Progress, 2019 Goals for Joining Forces

Evanston and Wilmette have both made good progress this year related to affordable housing, and we are proud to believe that Joining Forces had at least some small part to play in these successes. Here is the top 10 list of accomplishments: In November, Evanston convened the first quarterly Affordable Housing Working Group meeting , gathering the ...

Quantifying the Need for Affordable Housing

In a prior posting , Joining Forces attempted to define housing affordability in terms of WHO needs it and WHAT types of solutions are available. At our November 2018 Member Meeting, we started to try to quantify the need, just in Evanston. The following is a summary of what we discussed--updated from some new information we found. We will begin to try t...

IHO Revisions Passed in Evanston

An inclusionary housing ordinance (IHO) requires a certain percentage of units in any new or substantially rehabbed residential building in a municipality to be affordable to people at moderate or low incomes. On Monday, October 29, Evanston's IHO Sub-Committee passed a revised ordinance that Joining Forces believes is a great improvement upon the one passe...

Proposed IHO Changes--What Joining Forces Thinks

The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) Sub-Committee in Evanston has nearly finished its work and is going to be presenting its proposed changes to City Council for a vote in October. For the most part, Joining Forces members have felt that the proposed changes are excellent and will make the ordinance much more impactful. However, we do have a couple of c...

The Case for Density

Every quarter, the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development's (HUD's) Office of Policy Development & Research publishes a periodical called Evidence Matters . This spring's edition, called "Regulatory Barriers and Affordable Housing," is particularly enlightening, and I'm including a link to it here . I have abstracted some of the key point...

Progress on Affordable Housing Planning in Evanston

On July 30, the City of Evanston housing staff announced that they are embarking on an affordable housing planning process. The documentation they provided for the meeting is on pages 189 through 191 of the packet for the Board meeting . Some of the things we particularly like about this plan include the following: It will make use of the research that...

Defining the Affordable Housing Need

In the discussions that Joining Forces has been having among its members, one of the key issues is the definition of "affordable housing." This is important, because the answer is different for different people, and to address the overall need, we need to include solutions for all the subsets of need in our planning. "Affordable housing" is considered to be...

"Our Homes, Chicago" and Suburban Cook County

On June 28, the Chicago Housing Initiative (CHI) launched a campaign called Our Home, Chicago . Highlighting support from several Chicago aldermen, the campaign included a press release , press conference, social media blitz, and several articles in the Chicago Tribune . Even more impressive, CHI worked with aldermen to create and propose two ordinances, ...

Wilmette to Vote on Minimum Wage

The Village of Wilmette is voting on Tuesday, June 26, on whether to "opt in" to Cook County's ordinances to increase the minimum wage and improve sick leave benefits for employees. Read and sign on to our letter to the Board of Trustees here , and please attend the Board meeting (7:00 at the Wilmette Village Hall).

Progress Report on City of Evanston Affordable Housing Efforts

We went through the strategies that the City staff presented in their White Paper (see pages 16 - 22) at the first of the Evanston City Council's special meetings on affordable housing (October 30, 2017) and did a quick evaluation of status. The Good News The Council and staff are making progress where they can and are moving the ball forward. The gree...

Advocating for an Affordable Housing Plan

Why a Plan Is Needed The main questions that Evanston aldermen have had so far around development of an Affordable Housing Plan have been: Why do we need a plan? Who should create the plan? When should a planning process begin? Our arguments for why a plan is needed, who should create it, and when they should create it are documented here . ...

Why Evanston Needs an Affordable Housing Plan

On April 30, the Evanston City Council held its third quarterly meeting focused on affordable housing. The City's housing staff reported on the work they had done since the last meeting, and Council referred further investigation of several potential actions to the Planning & Development Committee. So, progress was made....until Alderman Revelle recomme...

Letter to Evanston Council in Prep for April 30 Meeting

Here is the letter that Joining Forces has sent to the Evanston City Council in preparation for their upcoming quarterly meeting on affordable housing, scheduled for April 30. There have been lots of behind-the-scenes conversations over the last quarter, many that Joining Forces has been involved in and, encouragingly, many that we have not been involved in!...

Affordable Units Slipping Through Our Fingers

Evanston's Zoning Board of Appeals met last night (April 17) and overrode the Design & Project Review Committee's recommendation to approve, with inclusion of one affordable unit on-site (for a person at 60% of the AMI), the development of a new 12-unit rental building at 3233-3249 Central called Highlands on Central. After much discussion about the aff...

Wilmette Setting the Pace

On April 10, the Village of Wilmette voted unanimously to approve Cleland Place, a new, 16-unit affordable apartment building. You can read more about Cleland Place here: Cleland Place Info Flyer.pdf . The following is the thank you letter that Joining Forces has sent to the Wilmette Village Trustees and Plan Commission members. Thanks as well to all of yo...

"Learn More" Article Archive

Article Title/Link Author Source Housing Advocacy Needs Housing Voters Michael Fogelberg Shelterforce , March 2, 2018 Impact of Affordable Housing on Families and Communities: A Review of the Evidence Base Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. Enterprise Community Partners, 2014 9 Foundations Launch Housing Collaborative Donna Kimura A...

Action Needed on IHO

The City of Evanston's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (IHO) Sub-Committee has not met since February 7, and no new meetings are on the calendar. In the meantime, several new real estate developments are under negotiation under the provisions of the current IHO. City staff is successfully negotiating with the developers to include affordable units on-site in ...

Hope for Affordable Housing in Wilmette

Hope for Affordable Housing in Wilmette ACTION NEEDED: Come to the Village of Wilmette Board of Trustees meeting on April 10 at 7:30 to speak in favor of Cleland Place! Summary of Commission Meetint--Recommendation to Approve At the Village of Wilmette's Plan Commission meeting on March 7, the Commissioners voted 4 to 1 to approve development of a ...

City Staff Promoting On-Site Units through IHO

Based on information in the packets for the following two developments, City of Evanston staff is consistently advocating that developers include the full number of on-site units in new buildings. It looks like there may be one or two areas where we want to advocate for stricter adherence, but overall, they are moving in a very good direction! 3233-3249 Ce...