Articles

Using City-Owned Property for Affordable Housing

Recently, several parcels of land owned by the City of Evanston have been for sale. One was the old Recycling Center on Oakton, which is moving toward becoming a climbing wall facility. Another is the library parking lot, where a controversial proposal to build a large office building was being considered and was recently declined by the City Council. W...

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...

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...

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...

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 ...

Evanston Affordable Housing Efforts

Evanston City Council had its most recent quarterly Affordable Housing meeting on January 29. Key Decisions: The City will move forward with legalizing the rental of ancillary dwelling units (like coach houses and above-garage units) to non-family members. They will continue to refine their proposal for a pilot Landlord Rehab Assistance Program. Poi...