Big promises for housing grant impact

Evanston officials staged a roadshow event for Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky this morning, taking them on a tour of the west side neighborhood that’s targeted for rehab work under a $18 million grant the city recently received from the federal government.

After touring the home of a local resident who says she can’t sell the two-family house she and two siblings inherited from their parents because of how the foreclosure crisis has decimated property values on the block, the politicians talked to reporters about what they hope the program will accomplish.

The city originally requested more than $40 million and planned — in addition to the rehabilitation work on 100 housing units — also construct about 100 units of new housing on the Bishop-Freeman site on the west side. The plan is now on hold until the city finishes the rehab work and either has money left over or gets additional funding.

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