Weigh In on the Purpose of Zoning Codes
Zoning primarily does 4 things in a municipality: 1) divides land into regions or “zones” (see Evanston’s zoning map here); 2) dictates what can and cannot be built in each zone; 3) dictates how big what is built can be in each zone; and 4) dictates the process for getting new development approved. In doing these things, the zoning code reflects many things about a community’s values—or, at least, the values of those making zoning decisions! We are gathering input from community members on what values they think Evanston’s zoning code should reflect.
Sign Up for Equitable Zoning Workshops
To learn how Evanston’s zoning code reflects the needs and values of communities in Evanston, your input is needed. So, click here to sign up for our community input workshops.
Read "What is the Financialization of Housing?"
Read this Shelterforce article and learn about financialization here.
In this article, financialization is defined as the treatment of housing as financial assets before treating them as places that people live in. To explain how housing has become more "financialized," Don Layton, former CEO of Fannie Mae, states that less people are buying houses and keeping them for generations in their family today since more people tend to sell their homes upon retirement, thus demonstrating a cultural shift towards having less emotional attachment to family homes. In addition to this, rising housing costs these days provide more of an incentive for homeowners to sell their property. Input from other perspectives about financialization are also provided in this article.
hot topics and blog posts
Advocacy Spotlight: Terri Dubin
For this month’s Advocacy Spotlight, we are featuring Joining Forces member, Terri Dubin. Terri grew up in the New England area, moving between New York City and Boston, then moving to Evanston in 1988 because her husband was from the area and the progressive politics of Chicagoland appealed to them. Terri is currently retired but has a BA in Urban Studies and has worked in a planning center in New York City, worked in architecture, and has had other vocations that involve her interest in “how cities come together.” Read more here.
The Criminalization of Homelessness in the U.S.
On August 15, 2022, the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) hosted a webinar (view recap here) that explains the Housing First model, as well as the rigid, post-pandemic laws that are being proposed or passed across the country to address homelessness by criminalizing it. In spite of legislation that aimed to humanely get people off the streets during quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19, homelessness has been increasing over the past two years and there has been backlash against proposals to keep in place the 2020 solutions to prevent homelessness and house the homeless. Read more here.
Joining Forces' Equitable Zoning Project
In August of 2020, Joining Forces for Affordable Housing reviewed Evanston’s Zoning Code and concluded that “both Evanston and the surrounding communities should overhaul their municipal codes to accomplish the following:
at joining forces
Looking at the City Code Through an Equity--and Affordability Lens
Joining Forces has identified changes the City of Evanston should make to its City Code to erase all traces of red-lining and increase affordability. We think surrounding municipalities should do revisions as well. Learn more here.
across the nation
housing in the news
Evergreen Plans Renovation of Historic Cleveland Building - From Affordable Housing Finance
Going Green a Win-Win for Affordable Housing - From Affordable Housing Finance
Prioritization in Emergency Rental Assistance Programs; A Framework of Strategies, Policies, and Procedures to Better Serve Priority Populations - From the National Low Income Housing Coalition
Build Modular Housing Factories Near Areas with High Housing Costs - From Shelterforce
What the US Can Learn from Rental Housing Markets across the Globe - From The Brookings Institute
Bills to Increase Affordable Housing Resources Introduced in the House and Senate - From the National Low Income Housing Coalition
How Biden Hopes to Fix the Thorniest Problem in Housing - From Politico
Amy Klobuchar Has a Plan to Build More Housing - From Vox media
Why Are Zoning Laws Defining What Constitutes a Family? - From Bloomberg CityLab
Affordable Housing Forever- From The New York Times
Study Examines Complexity of Financing LIHTC Developments- From Affordable Housing Finance
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