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Evanston officials, in a memo supporting proposed amendments to the city’s subsidized housing ordinance, say they expect that 2,500 units of new housing will be built in the city over the next five years.

If that forecast comes true, they say, the amended ordinance would result in the creation of about 250 new affordable housing units during that time.

But the forecast is contingent on “the economic climate” remaning substantially the same and development continuing at its current pace.

Community Development Director Mark Muenzer says city staff is already aware about about 1,500 new dwelling units in proposed planned development — most of which haven’t yet entered the formal approval process.

U.S. Census data indicates that the number of housing units in Evanston increased by 2,364 during the decade ending in 2010, a period that saw a housing boom early in the decade, followed by a housing bust toward the end of the decade.

Despite the increase in housing units, the number of residents in the city increased by only 247 during that decade and the number of vacant housing units grew from 1,166 to 3,134. The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey indicates only 13 housing units were built in Evanston between 2010 and 2013.

Historical data on when Evanston’s existing housing stock was constructed, from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Roughly half of Evanston’s housing units, or 15,269 units, were built before 1940.

In an updated memo prepared ahead of tonight’s scheduled City Council action on the ordinance, Muenzer also says that there are currently 28,671 occupied housing units in the city. Of those, 849 ownership units and 4,066 rental units — or 15.5 percent of the total — are considered affordable under federal and state definitions.

Under state regulations, communities with less than 10 percent affordable housing are required to take some steps to increase their supply. Numerous communities near Evanston fall below that threshold — with Glenview at 7.4 percent, Highland Park at 6.7 percent, Wilmette at 4.1 percent and Deerfield at 4 percent.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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10 Comments

  1. Does the Council even read their own research ?

    The report at best suggests Evanston population will grown at a slow rate at best.

    It also indicates that we already have far more than our share of affordable housing.

  2. Evanston taxes are “too damn high”

    With City, Library and School taxes continuing to increase, how do our political leaders expect people to fund more "affordable housing" especially when Evanston already far exceeds state regulations? Evanston is at 15.5% and the state requires 10%.

    I think more people in Evanston would like to have "affordable taxes."

    What's actually happening in Evanston is middle class homeowners are getting severly pinched, and leaving the community. As a result you see more high income residents and low income residents, and this bifurcation will become increaslingly apparent over time.

    Is this the "vision" for Evanston?
     

  3. Extension of Chicago?

    Whining about property taxes gets tiresome. The issue that does not seem to get any discussion is the increasing degree of urbanization of Evanston. I moved to Evanston 30 years ago because I no longer wished to live in the city of Chicago with its density of people. Now, huge condo/rental unit buildings seem to be dominating the town, such as downtown and Main and Central. It's so dense that one buildings' occupants are complaining about proposed buildings blocking views or daylight.

    Are the homeowners comfortable with this? What happens to support for D65 and D202 when an increasing number of voters no longer have children in the public school districts? What other consequences of density are not being considered beforehand?

    1. Whining about taxes?

      John, maybe you and some others can afford to pay for rising taxes and receive stable to declining services.

      I and many others cannot. My salary isn't growing but i've got growing expenses, and taxes are a significant part of that growth.

      TP

       

    2. Hazy memory of Evanston 30 years ago?

      You said "huge condo/rental unit buildings seem to be dominating the town, such as downtown and Main and Central' =========================== I'm stumped by saying Central has huge condo and rental buildings. The last four story or more I can think of was 1300 Central [4 or 5 stories] in 1995. Most everything else on or around Central [4 or 5 stories] I can think of are more than the 30 years old you reference. At Main, yes there are big new building but as far as I picture at Main and Chicago and several on Chicago Ave. south of Main. The 8+ story building 40+ year old building at Hinman and Kedzie may still be the highest in the area—but I could be wrong.

    3. Times change, so stop whining

      Times change and our future destiny will not be denied, no matter how much some people wish to impede the inevitable.  Evanston is evolving and I love it, yet I understand how others may not.  For those who don't like the evolving urban environment, Grayslake seems nice and it should take them longer than your next 30 years before they also become urbanized.

      For district 65 & 202, the extra real estate taxes is one of the best ways for them to increase revenue, not such a bad thing. 

      For the condo owners complaining about their views, they don't own their views and most likely their buildings blocked other people's views. That's simply unjustified kvetching and nothing is more tiresome than hearing that whining.

      1. Somebody just told me that

        Somebody just told me that they know you and that you are one of the biggest whiners  on this board. I haven't seen this. I am just passing this on. I may not always agree with you but I encourage you to keep posting.

    4. D65 and D202

      Zbesko asks: "Are the homeowners comfortable with this? What happens to support for D65 and D202 when an increasing number of voters no longer have children in the public school districts? What other consequences of density are not being considered beforehand? -" Answers: 1. "Are the homeowners comfortable with this?" Probably not…at least not all of them. Every time there is a condo or apartment development, there are some homeowners who complain that the end of the world is near. Too bad. There is a need for apartments and condos in Evanston, for both young people and old people and middle aged people. 2. "What happens to support for D65 and D202 when an increasing number of voters no longer have children in the public school districts? " I really wish someone would explain why anyone would object to having people without children move into the neighborhood to help pay taxes for your schools. And why don't you ask this same question about people who send their kids to private schools, or people whose kids are grown up? 3. "What other consequences of density are not being considered beforehand?" – That's a very broad, open-ended question. What are the consequences of suburban sprawl? Longer commutes, traffic jams, rotting urban centers, big-box stores with large parking lots. What are the consequences of low density? Smaller tax base, higher taxes, no customers for shops or restaurants.

    5. John,
      John,

      You are right. Evanston is looking and smell a lot like Chicago. This can’t be good for any future for Evanston. How many people in Evanston would like their home be called Chicago North? No many!

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