Brian Miller on housing strategies

Evanston is a great place to live. However, we should always be looking for ways to help keep our city affordable to families.

Evanston’s inclusionary housing program is not sufficient to meet the current demand for affordable housing. While the inclusionary housing ordinance is a good start, the City must explore other revenue streams to subsidize housing.

The Evanston Affordable Housing Trust Fund receives approximately $500,000 per year in revenue, while the City’s Community Development Block Grant capital allocation is approximately $500,000 per year also.

These funds can be used to subsidize construction of affordable housing, finance repairs to keep people in homes, help with unmarketable properties (i.e. excessive tax burdens, liens, etc.) and/or with rental assistance.

Regarding alternative strategies, Miller wrote:

The current inclusionary housing ordinance only creates affordable housing in developments of over 25 units.

The most likely location of new large scale development will be in the expansion of Downtown surrounding the Foster Street CTA station.

Given the substantial impact that new large scale development in that area will have, we need to carefully consider the impact of the development on neighborhood character, parking and quality of life.

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