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Group rates Evanston tops in addressing immigrant issues

A housing group’s study says Evanston is taking more steps than any other north shore suburb to address the needs of immigrants.

The report, issued by the Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs, checked eight strategies the group says communities could use to include immigrants in the local government’s decision making process and to address their housing needs.

Evanston, the report says, uses seven of those stratiegies.

Four other towns — Glencoe, Highland Park, Skokie and Wilmette — use six, while, at the other end of the spectrum, three communities — Glenview, Highwood and Winnetka — were reported to use none of them.

The only benchmark Evanston failed to meet was making applications for positions on local government boards and commissions available in languages other than English.

The group also checked whether towns have human relations and housing commissions, whether applications for appointment to the groups are publicly available, whether government documents, other than the application forms, are available in languages other than English, whether the community has an affordable housing plan, whether it has implemented that plan and whether the community offers other housing programs.

Evanston, with just over 15 percent of its population foreign-born as of the 2000 census, is in the middle of the pack among north shore communities in the share of immigrants in its population — which ranged from highs of 38 percent in Highwood and 37 percent in Skokie to lows of 5 percent in Winnetka and 6 percent in Glencoe.

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Open to all? (Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs)

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