A new report from the Illinois Housing Development Agency says 17.5 percent of the housing units in Evanston meet the agency’s definition for being affordable.
That’s up from 15.4 percent in 2013, but still down from 25.9 percent in 2004, the first time the IHDA study was conducted.
Other shoreline communities in northern Cook County also showed affordability gains in 2018 over their 2013 figures.
Evanston’s affordability level is by far the highest among those five towns.
However it’s barely above the 17 percent average for all 31 northern Cook County communities.
The IHDA study is required to be conducted periodically under the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act the state adopted in 2003.
Communities with less than 10 percent affordable housing are required under the statute to prepare a plan to address the issue, but the state doesn’t impose penalties for failure to meet the goals.
The study considers a property affordable if a tenant making 60 percent of area median income or an owner-occupant making 80 percent of area median income could cover their housing costs with 30 percent or less of their income.