Evanston city staffers will seek City Council approval tonight for a plan to request $39.4 million in federal funds for housing construction and rehabilitation.


Evanston city staffers will seek City Council approval tonight for a plan to request $39.4 million in federal funds for housing construction and rehabilitation.

The program is designed to target two census tracts that have been hard-hit by the foreclosure crisis.

One aspect of the program would purchase and rehabilitate 100 vacant and foreclosed housing units.

The other would construct 97 new housing units in the Mayfair Corridor area along Emerson Street covered by the West Evanston Master Plan.

The city plans to work with a for-profit developer, Brinshore Development, LLC, of Northbrook, to apply for the grant and carry out the project.

The city staff proposal describes Brinshore as “one of the Midwest’s largest and most successful housing development firms in the affordable housing market.”

It says Brinshore has completed more than 40 developments totaling over 4,300 apartments and homes valued at ofer $750 million.

The program would be designed to yield mixed-income housing for both owner-occupants and renters.

About half the rehabbed units would be owned by Brinshore and rented to families at or below 50 percent of area median income.

The west side area targeted for the program is bounded by Church Street on the south, the North Shore channel on the west and north and Green Bay Road, Emerson, and Ashland Avenue on the east. It includes portions of the 2nd and 5th wards

The south Evanston area targeted for the program, part of the 8th Ward, is bounded by Howard Street on the south, Asbury Avenue on the west, Oakton Street on the North and the CTA tracks on the east.

The council will be under pressure to act on the measure tonight, because the deadline for the grant application under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Neighborhood Stablisation Program 2 is Wednesday.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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6 Comments

  1. Is this a matching grant?
    Does anyone know if Evanston has to pitch in money for this grant? If so, how much?

    Reply:
    The proposal makes no mention of any match required from the city. On the contrary, it says the program will permit the city to spend up to 10 percent of the federal funds received on the city’s expenses in administering the grant.
    — Bill

  2. $39M housing grant
    I hope the city does not spend half of the money on art exhibitions to go on the front of each house and the other half on mahogany desks and gold plated faucets !

  3. Not again!
    “The south Evanston area targeted for the program, part of the 8th Ward, is bounded by Howard Street on the south, Asbury Avenue on the west, Oakton Street on the North and the CTA tracks on the east.”

    So the City wants to put more “mixed income” housing (read: heavy on the low income housing) in the 8th Ward. Not again! We already have far more than our share of low income housing.

    Doesn’t the City have any other options for improving the quality of life in south Evanston?

    1. imbalance
      I would agree. Put some ‘mixed income’ housing up in the North/Northwest/Northeast neighborhoods and see how fast the city returns the grant money for lack of political backing.

      1. Central & Eastwood
        “Put some ‘mixed income’ housing up in the North/Northwest/Northeast neighborhoods and see how fast the city returns the grant money for lack of political backing.”

        That empty field at Central & Eastwood looks like a good spot for low income housing. What’s going on over there? I don’t recall ever hearing that the condo project was officially called off, but the sign suggests that the site is on the market.

  4. Remember the Affordable house tax proposal?
    Remember a few years ago when there was a ballot item to apply a 50 basis point tax on the sale of all homes to subsidize affordable housing? The sales job then was that low income people could not afford to live in Evanston. Now prices have come down and still dropping. The is no reason what so ever to take money from the federal government that has it’s own $ 2.75 trillion deficit. Let prices come down and the market will take care of itself.

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