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Evanston aldermen tonight will discuss a revised version of a major update to the city’s nearly decade-old inclusionary housing ordinance.

The newest version maintains three key provisions in the original draft of the revision:

  • Expanding the ordinance from just covering condo developments to also include rental housing.
  • Covering developments with as few as 10 units, rather than the current trigger of 25 units or more.
  • Increasing the fee-in-lieu requirement to avoid providing affordable units on site from $40,000 to $100,000 per unit.

But the new version also:

  • Covers developments of as few as five units within transit-oriented development zones near Metra or CTA stations.
  • Fine-tunes the income thresholds for affordable units — making them lower within transit-oriented development zones.
  • Provides larger development bonuses in transit-oriented development areas.
  • Offers larger reductions in required parking on site for transit-oriented developments.
  • Reduces the fee-in-lieu requirement to $75,000 outside transit-oriented development areas.

Adoption of the original inclusionary housing ordinance in 2006 coincided with the beginning of the real estate market collapse and no developments covered by the original ordinance have been built in the decade since.

The recent revival of the market for rental housing construction has encouraged affordable housing advocates to push for the ordinance revisions to be discussed tonight.

Related stories

Ideas floated for broad housing tax (6/30/15)

Will ‘inclusion’ kill new housing development? (6/29/15)

Taking a gamble on affordable housing (6/8/15)

More carrots in latest subsidized housing plan (6/5/15)

Aldermen to rework ‘inclusionary’ housing plan (7/29/14)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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5 Comments

  1. Finally a plan to reduce apartment/condo building
    This should stop builders from wanting to do construction in Evanston and buyers/renters wanting to pay extra for building that effectively tax on the cost—after all even if builders pay the fee or create the units, it will be effectively passed on to buyers/renters explicitly or implicitly.
    This should solve all the complaints about overbuilding and high density in Evanston.

    1. Not familiar with how….

      Who pays for the high monthly HOA fees and special assessments in the condo units? Is this the tenant in a low income bracket?

      1. Condo fees

        Alderman Don Wilson raised this question at the City Council meeting Monday night and was told staff would look into it. He suggested that the state condominium law requires that condo association fees be allocated based on the square footage of each unit — which, he speculated, would leave a tenant in an affordable unit in a development with lots of amenities stuck with an un-affordable level of fee payments.

        Stay tuned for the answer.

        –Bill

  2. Property Taxes Condo Units

    Who pays for the property taxes on the affordable housing units. Are these units allowed parking spaces with could be an seprate  property tax on the parking space.

    1. Property taxes

      My understanding is that the buyer of the affordable unit would pay the property taxes — but that the tax would likely be limited to the value of the property as an affordable unit — with restrictions on the resale price.

      — Bill

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