The City of Evanston is being asked to provide $4 million toward the $22 million cost of a planned 44-unit affordable housing development on Church Street.

The financing request from the non-profit Housing Opportunity Development Corporation is scheduled to be reviewed by the city’s Housing and Community Development Committee Tuesday evening.

The bulk of the funds for the project at 1811-1815 Church St. are scheduled to be provided by the Illinois Housing Development Authority through low income housing tax credits.

The five-story project includes ground-floor retail space and two levels of underground parking required by the site’s zoning. HODC says those requirements add about $3.1 million to the total cost of the project.

City staff is proposing to provide a $1.5 million grant for the retail and parking component of the project from the West Evanston tax increment financing district. The grant would be repayable if the property were sold or not maintained as primarily affordable for 30 years.

An additional $1.5 million grant from the TIF and a $1 million zero-interest deferred loan from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund would support the housing component of the project. Those funds would be repayable if the property were sold or not maintained as primarily affordable beyond the 30-year LIHTC affordability period.

The city staff memo says that after accounting for other planned TIF expenditures between now and the scheduled end of the TIF’s life in 2028, there would be no funds left over to fund any additional affordable housing projects, beyond this one, unless the state legislature extended the TIF’s life for an additional 12 years.

The HODC project would include six units restricted to households earning no more than 30% of area median income, 11 units at 50% of AMI and 25 units at 60% of AMI.

Some of the units will also qualify for project-based vouchers through the Housing Authority of Cook County and some will have accessible and adaptable features.

The city’s Land Use Commission is scheduled to make a recommendation on zoning variations requested for the HODC project at a meeting on Feb. 8.

Both the zoning variations and the funding request will ultimately require City Council approval for the project to move forward.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. I surely wish I could get someone to give me this much money (TIFs count as money since it reduces the tax income the city gets) for me to build a building that I will continue to own and on which I will charge rent.
    Maybe it’s my imagination but it seems more and more people are going to this council with open hands than ever before.

  2. I support affordable housing in Evanston, However, someone please educate me…what is the percentage of tax-reduced income to the City of Evanston affected by a TIF … what are the effects on the City of Evanston Tax income line item when a TIF is extended by the State or granted which I am sure the City will look to seek since we are depleting TIF. Finally, what is the impact of these tax gains on surrounding properties? I see the little burden on the developer but, the impact on the residents long term could be devastating. I also think the developer needs to address the street structure. What will the Church do for parking when ETHS has a swim meet? Has anyone engaged in the School District (202)? What cameras they would maintain around the property for safety? I also think we should name the building after our Black Ancestors who built this block and were instrumental in its growth and great business Men and Women just to name a few, Powell Records, Williams Shoe Shine, Church Street Barber, Barber, Marshall’s Barber, Cheeks Barber, Dr. Cheeks Dental, the pool Hall, Bill of Fare Restaurant where the church currently is, Dr.Frye, Soda Shop and Morris Drug Store. The Church surely could maintain its current name. Maybe I am wrong, so please explain to someone this development TIF Process and money from the City Coffin. You can email me.

  3. I really, really wish the city would get out of the real estate business. If a developer wants to construct an apartment building, fine, but it should be on their dime, not the taxpayers’. To encourage said privately-funded construction, the City should let the developer charge whatever they want in rent and offer as few or as many parking spots as they want.

  4. Peter and alll…

    This current administration is and will be milked for every last dollar (our tax paying dollars) for all kinds of development projects. The mere mention of equity raises the Evanston Mayor’s eyebrows and sadly, he patronizingly cow tows to the LOUDEST voices, vs the voices of reason!

    Is there anyone out there concerned that 100% affordable housing is regressive? Cabrini Green anyone???

  5. Well we bought a laundromat on Howard. Now we want to give millions to the church street project. All in the name of affordable housing. Meanwhile my taxes on a very modest three bedroom house are making it un – affordable

  6. The land belongs to the city, and on top of the 4 million they are asking for the land as a gift, that’s unacceptable! The church they plan on building will hold 200 people and no parking provided for them, there are also multiple churches in the area, do we need this church to be built? The answer is no if you know the area. There’s already affordable housing in this area, build it somewhere there isn’t any affordable housing!

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *