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Housing grant draws protest plans

No contracts for rehab work have been awarded yet under Evanston’s $18.5 million federal grant designed to restore 100 units of foreclosed housing, but some minority contractors have already scheduled a protect at which they plan to claim they’re not getting a fair share of the work.

No contracts for rehab work have been awarded yet under Evanston’s $18.5 million federal grant designed to restore 100 units of foreclosed housing, but some minority contractors have already scheduled a protect at which they plan to claim they’re not getting a fair share of the work.

City officials announced today that they’ve acquired nine properties for the program and have site control of another 14 which are in the process of being purchased.

Those 23 properties include a total of 34 units — or about one third of the total that are to be restored under the three-year program.

The city says bid packages for rehabilitation work will be released at 10 a.m. Friday at the Civic Center, and a pre-submission conference for contractors is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Council Chambers.

The city says it will require that at least 25 percent of the construction contracts under the Neighborhood Stablization Program 2 grant that the city received in January go to minority, woman and Evanston-based businesses.

The city’s also scheduled a free seminar on financing and bonding issues for local contractors for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Civic Center.

Bids on the first round of work are due to be submitted to Brinshore Development, the city’s partner in the grant program, by Oct. 22.

Meanwhile, the Evanston Minority Business Consortium has announced plans for a meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Family Focus to plan a protest rally to be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Lake Street Church, 607 Lake St.

The group’s leaders say the protest is designed "to let the community know that minority and Evanston-based businesses are not getting their fair share of the NSP2 project." 

The foreclosed properties to be rehabbed are located in two census tracts that have been hard hit-by the foreclosure crisis. One tract is in the city’s 5th Ward, the other in the 8th Ward.

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