Richard Monocchio, executive director of the Housing Authority of Cook County, told aldermen Monday night that Evanston could receive additional subsidized housing assistance from his agency, possibly as soon as next year.

Monocchio said the authority is looking for “communities of opportunity” — mostly in the north and northwest suburbs — that could be sites for new project-based housing voucher assistance programs.

Criteria include the quality of schoools, availablity of jobs, transportation access, the percentage of minority residents and relatively low poverty levels, Monocchio said.

He said evaluation is census-tract based and that some, but not all, census tracts in Evanston would fit the program guidelines.

However he cautioned that the authority has spent all the money it has available for this year and that it’s unclear how much funding it will receive from the federal government for the program next year.

HACC operates two large developments for seniors and disabled residents in Evanston’s 1st Ward, as well as scattered-site townhouse developments elsewhere in the city.

Monocchio said the agency has “an aggressive self-sufficiency program underway” to teach tenants job skills they need to become self-employed, “so hopefully they can leave the program and make a voucher available to someone else.”

But he conceded that it’s often difficult, once tenatns are in a nice, subsidized place, to find a similar quality unit that they can afford in the private housing market.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Cook County????

    The same Cook County that has a huge budget hole? And is thinking of laying off health care workers and public safety (read Sheriff’s office) staff? I hope not. I wouldn’t think that they could or would.

    1. Federal money

      The money for this program comes from the Feds. So, assuming the it doesn’t disappear from the federal budget, there should be some funding available, despite the county’s budget issues.

      — Bill

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