Evanston aldermen are scheduled to continue discussion in committee tonight about affordable housing.

The aldermen two weeks ago urged city staff to strengthen a proposed inclusionary housing ordinance that would require developers of projects with 25 or more units to either provide affordable units on site or contribute to an inclusionary housing fund.

But then last week, at the Rules Committee meeting, amid some concern that the inclusionary housing ordinance might stifle new development, the aldermen started action on a proposal to ask voters to raise the real estate transfer tax to fund affordable housing.

It’s not clear how many aldermen see the transfer tax measure as a substitute for the inclusionary housing ordinance and how many favor both.

The aldermen also will consider:

  • Approving a $25,000 grant to the Housing Oppportunity Development Corporation for a program counseling moderate-income residents on home-ownership issues.
  • Designating the Citizens’ Lighthouse Community Land Trust the city’s fourth community housing development organization, so it could own, develop or sponsor affordable housing projects using city funds.
  • Reserving $180,000 of city funds for a future development project by the Evanston Housing Coalition.

Related stories
Aldermen ask for stronger inclusionary housing plan
Transfer tax hike for affordable housing clears first hurdle

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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