Most Evanstonians find this town to be an expensive place to live. And that led us to ask the mayoral candidates what they’d do to address the issue.

First, a little background. The chart above compares the share of income an average household would have to pay for an average mortgaged home or an average rental unit in Evanston and our three neighboring communities.


You’ll notice that the typical Wilmette household is the least squeezed by housing costs. The second chart shows why. It’s because a typical Wilmette household earns $132,110 a year — a whole lot more than the typical household in the other three towns.

The typical Chicago household makes less than the typical household in Evanston or Skokie, but average housing costs are also lower there.

The median income in Evanston is less than 5 percent more than the median income in Skokie, but the median home price here is 25 percent higher than in Skokie, while the median rent is only 6 percent higher.

That helps explain why 73 percent of Skokie residents own their homes, while only 55 percent of Evanston residents are homeowners.

We asked the candidates whether they favor the current inclusionary housing program — which provides deep subsidies, but only for a few people — and what other strategies they’d support.

Here’s a summary of their answers to that second question.

Click these links to read their detailed responses:

Gaspard   Hagerty   Miller   Smith   Tendam

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Housing position chart
    Curious about your chart, Bill.

    You say Tendam is for reducing parking minimums and Smith is against. However I didn’t see either candidate mention parking in their detailed responses.

    Are you using other public statements to categorize them thusly?

    1. The chart

      We asked each of the candidates to check off whether they favored each of the options listed in the chart. They had the option of adding additional comments, and all did say something more, but they didn’t necessarily address each of the available options in their comments.

      — Bill

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