Discussions about affordable housing abound in our community, which is a great thing. Also great is the desire of groups working on the issue to get input from across the community. However, there are so many community outreach efforts going on, that it can be a bit confusing. I have listed the efforts that we know about below. As we are involved in some of them, we will be encouraging all of us to work together to share and synthesize results.
City of Evanston Consolidated Plan
The City of Evanston just completed a Community Needs Assessment Survey focused on housing, which they must do periodically as a recipient of federal funding for housing and shelter programs. The survey results will be included in the City's "Consolidated Plan" which describes how the federal funding will be used.
Recent Housing-Specific Ward Meetings
We recently completed Ward-specific meetings to solicit feedback from community members about how their wards could contribute to affordable housing solutions in Evanston. (We partnered with Reclaim Evanston, who is looking to divert some of the new revenue from the recently increased real estate transfer tax from the general operating fund to the affordable housing fund.) We will be compiling the feedback we received and sharing it with all the other entities seeking feedback on housing issues.
City of Evanston Affordable Housing Planning Process
The City is in the process of developing a new affordable housing plan. As part of the process, the City will be be seeking community input through some combination of surveys, focus groups, and interviews. Joining Forces has offered to help with this effort.
Cook County Fair Housing Assessment
Cook County is doing an assessment of fair housing (a HUD requirement). The City of Evanston is participating by providing lots of data on the municipality. Connections for the Homeless and Joining Forces for Affordable Housing are participating by gathering qualitative input from across north suburban Cook County on issues of fair and affordable housing over the next 11 months. You will hear more about this from us.