Last, January, Joining Forces members spoke at a special City Council meeting, exhorting the City to "Choose Affordable Housing!" Shortly, after that, the pandemic set in, and momentum on most issues stopped. Now, however, there are inklings of action, and it is time for the City to respond by choosing affordable housing-usually over other easier or more popular options. Here is one great opportunity.
On October 14, the City's Plan Commission deliberated on whether to recommend approval of a new residential apartment building on Emerson and Sherman by the Housing Authority of Cook County.
Original objections to this building related to its size and height. Interestingly, newer objections have to do with the number of affordable units. We are happy to say that people are demanding more! However, we also know how difficult it is to create affordable housing and how rare an opportunity The Emerson presents, By providing 51 units of housing at lower than market pricing, The Emerson will increase the afford housing in Evanston more than anything we can remember.
The Emerson: Facts & Figures
Unfortunately, only three of the commissioners at the Plan Commission prioritized affordable housing and voted to recommend the proposal to City Council. The other three had hopes of decreasing the size of the building, even though that would reduce the number of affordable units. This is a classic example of "We love affordable housing, BUT..." We hope that City Council members will eliminate the "BUT" and supports this proposal.