Panel to begin affordable housing review

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A special City Council subcommittee is to begin its review of Evanston’s inclusionary housing ordinance tonight.

The committee will be wrestling with several conflicting goals:

  • Producing more on-site affordable housing while also dispersing units across the community — when most new construction is concentrated downtown.
  • Attempting to generate more funds from developers to fund more affordable units — while not stifling development by imposing such steep burdens that developers abandon the city.
  • Striking the best balance between aid to the very poor and help for more middle-class households.

It also may look at adopting new impact or linkage fees so that new developments not now covered by the inclusionary housing ordinance — like single family homes or commercial properties — could be forced to contribute funds toward affordable housing.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Aldermanic Library at the Civic Center. A packet of materials prepared for the meeting is available online.

The committee includes four aldermen, Judy Fiske, Ann Rainey, Eleanor Revelle and Don Wilson, as well as five citizen-members.

They are Rob Anthony of the Affordable Housing Corporation of Lake County, Lynn Robinson of Robinson Rentals, Jolene Saul of Brinshore Development, Kent Swanson of Riverside Investment & Development and Stacie Young of Community Investment Corporation.

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