The Citizens’ Lighthouse Community Land Trust will ask Evanston aldermen tonight for more money for a single-family home rehab project.

2212 Washington St.
2212 Washington St.

The trust received $99,500 from the city a year ago to help purchase and rehab its first home at 2212 Washington St.

The group now want an extra $15,000 from the city to complete work on the house.

The trust initially marketed the home for $180,000 in February, seeking low-income families of five that could meet federal guidelines to qualify for a loan to buy the property.

But it now reports that all the five-person families who’ve looked at the home think the 980-square-foot, three-bedroom, one-bath house is too small.

So the group want more city funds to do additional rehab work and lower the purchase price to $169,000, which would let a low-income family of four qualify for financing for it.


The garage at 2212 Washington St.

The additional work includes demolishing a decaying garage on the property and replacing gutters on the house to eliminate a lead paint hazard.

Trust officials have told city staff members that they’ve been aggressively marketing the home with weekend open houses and ads in local newspapers.

However the property does not appear in the multiple listing service, which does show a number of roughly equivalent market-rate properties, including:

  • A four-bedroom, two-bath, bank-owned, 1,122 square-foot home at 1225 McDaniel Ave. for $184,900.
  • A three-bedroom, one-bath, 933 square-foot home at 1828 Grey Ave. for $159,900.
  • A four-bedroom, two-bath, 1,150 square-foot home at 1817 Grey Ave. for $198,000

Purchasers of those homes would not be subject to the resale restrictions imposed by the land trust, which intends to retain an ownership interest in the property permanently, with the goal of trying to keep the house affordable.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. Another example of tax waste
    This is another example of tax waste. The City of Evanston should not be in the business of handing out money to a group that tries to operate in the private sector. This trust gets 100k and now wants more money because they can’t FIND buyers willing to accept a home below market value because it’s too SMALL!!! And the home isn’t even in the MLS. That means it is not on the open market, which is poor marketing.

    Evanston is having problems balancing the budget and once again city leaders want to play Santa Claus and dole out money like drunken sailors. Last year, they took away a building they gave to a group 7 years ago to build an African-American museum. They gave that group 200k plus the value of the building. No one knows where the 200k went because the building was never renovated. And so what does the Council do? They’re now looking to give away the building they bought for 100k to another group willing to create the musuem. Any good business person would sell the building and use the proceeds to balance the budget. Well, if the City of Evanston needs more money it can raise taxes again and again. That’s how government grows – not by earning but taxing. I just can’t wait until we get more fiscally responsible people on the Council.
    Anonymous Al

    1. How is that fiscally responsible?
      “Any good business person would sell the building and use the proceeds to balance the budget.”

      Any good business person wouldn’t say any such thing. If you “balance” the budget with an asset sale in one year, what fills that gap the next year? What you describe wouldn’t actually balance a budget.

  2. Not my point
    OK, HELP balance the budget. I never meant that it would be the ONE solution to balance the budget. My point is tax waste-spending more money on a failed project among other things. A good business doesn’t waste resources, and make poor monetary decisions especially in tough economic times.Geez.

    1. It doesn’t help
      It doesn’t help balance the budget, it defers balancing the budget until the next year. Use of one-time revenues only kicks the can down the road – and not very far.

      1. Whatever, and pigs fly
        Not to beat a dead horse but let me get this straight. When balancing a budget that’s in the red like Evanston’s was, do you not need to cut expenses?. If so, then isn’t a 100k and then another 15k give away to a trust for affordable housing an expense? Moreover, an unnecesary expense? Let me make it more simple: When you spend more than you take in then you should cut back to balance a budget – any budget! Unless of course, you can bring in more money by taxing citizens. Then it’s tax and spend, tax and spend. That, Shawn, is my basic point- spend wisely and stop the taxing.
        Anonymous Al

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