Highland Park-based Community Partners for Affordable Housing will ask aldermen Monday to spend $579,000 in federal and city funds to purchase and rehabilitate two affordable rental housing units in Evanston.

Specific properties to be purchased have not yet been identified, but the project is targeting three small neighborhoods as possible sites.

One is in south Evanston between Madison and Monroe streets from Asbury to Custer avenues. A second is in west Evanston between Darrow and Dodge avenues from Lee to Grove streets. The third is in northwest Evanston bounded by Forestview Road and Ewing Avenue and Grant and Payne streets.

As proposed by city staff, the project would use $252,662 in federal HOME funds. Some of that money has to be committed by the end of July.

The rest of the funding would come from the city’s affordable housing trust fund.

A staff memo says the goal of the project is to secure two three-bedroom units that could be rented to larger households whose incomes are between 60 and 80 percent of area median income.

Under the proposal, the tenants would end up paying $1,000 a month in rent for each unit, and CPAH would pledge to keep the properties affordable for 99 years.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said the rent per unit would be $1,200 a month. It’s actually to be $12,000 a year, or $1,000 a month.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Affordable???
    Wow..this boggles my mind. Affordable housing for $1,200/month? But, this is Evanston…and why I could never afford to live there……

    1. Affordability

      Hi Verna,

      These units are intended for “large families.”

      Based on the government’s calculation of area median income, which is used as the basis for determining what’s “affordable,” 60 percent of the AMI for a family of four is $46,140 and 80% is $61,500.

      Since the government figures people should be able to “afford” to spend up to 30 percent of their income on housing, a rent of $12,000 a year should be considered affordable for families of that size. (The original version of our story said the rent would be $1,200 a month. But it’s actually $1,000 a month.)

      — Bill

    2. With those income and rent levels, bar the doors…

      I expect that many people will want to get in on this deal.  Many who currently rent in Evanston but figure they have to live on what they earn and now pay market rents which are far above the stated rent. Places I know of in Evanston in what, properly or not are considered “safe” but by no means above low/middle Middle income, run for $1300+ for a two [or even one] bedroom in buildings from 1970 or earlier. I’m sure there are less expensive [and considered less desireable] units in Evanston, but I did not think that was what the program was for.  Some one must have statistics on the effect of putting ‘affordable’ or even mixed income individual families in the same area–including block. From comments you hear neighbors don’t even like NU students on their block—yet knowing they are mostly from middle/upper income homes. I suspect property values of other homes decrease, resentment on both income levels and how well do the affordable renters do in areas where expenses [non-direct rent] are higher.

  2. Two affordable units to cost city $579K

    Fascinating that this HIGHLAND PARK based program is so interested in rehabbing in Evanston. How much rehabbing have they done in Highland Park and Glencoe? Are they actively engaged in providing upgraded housing for their own lower income residents or are they only interested in providing that housing in Evanston? I can envision some pretty substandard housing on Central in Highland Park that has housed migrant workers and families over the years in Highland Park. Who is watching out for them? Is this group concerned about having a stream of domestic workers from Evanston?

    1. Check the website

      Hi Chirsh,

      You could learn more about what CPAH has been doing in Highland Park, and elsewhere by looking on their website.

      — Bill

  3. Who will own homes?

    Who will own these two home? Does the $579,000 include total rehab costs (article inplies it does)? If so how do they know this since homes haven’t been picked?  Will property taxes be paid? Will rent be 1200 dollars for the 99 years?

    1. Some answers

      Hi MIJ,

      1. CPAH will own the units.
      2. The information in the council packet says CPAH will provide an additional $30K of “developer equity” and lists another nearly $37K in “costs not incurred during construction.”
      3. Don’t know … I’ll be looking for an answer to that question.
      4. Rent is assumed to increase by 2 percent per year.

      — Bill


  4. Doesn’t seem affordable.
    The economics of this doesn’t make sense. They want to spend $579,000 to provide subsidized housing for two families. That is almost $300,000 per family. This seems extremely high.

  5. Evanston’s rental market is affordable to even low income

    We do not even need goverment funded affordable housing in Evanston. These families can find properties in the open market with two or more bedrooms in Evanston that rent for $1,000. Of course, it wouldn’t be in northwest Evanston. 

    Evanston’s housing stock is so diversified that you can find rentals UNDER $1,000 a month!!!

    How much more affordable housing does Evanston need?

    Evanston was awarded an $18 million federal loan to stabilize two Evanston neighborhoods. About 100 properties were purchased and rehabbed of those about 50 are affordable housing rentals.

    Then the city kicked in money to build a new affordable housing complex with 32 units called Emerson Square that at one time was a planned condo/townhome complex.

    This is not to mention the dozens of other affordable housing in Evanston —

    And how can this group afford property in the area of bounded by Forestview Road and Ewing Avenue and Grant and Payne streets? Everything is priced above $500,000.

    I know Evanston property owners who rent to tenants that pay only $200 of a $1,200 monthly rent. Guess who pays the difference? HUD!!! And these tenants are of working age and able bodied (don’t know if they work).

    Evanstonians just got hit with a $116 million tax hike just after the teacher’s Union got their pay raise and now other unions want more money.

    Not too long ago, the city manager said in public that affordable housing in Evanston is no longer a priority.

    Our elected officals want more affordable housing so they can secure more votes. See how that works. 

    1. “And how can this group

      “And how can this group afford property in the area of bounded by Forestview Road and Ewing Avenue and Grant and Payne streets? Everything is priced above $500,000.”


      What’s the significance of that small area? I missed it. Check out 2109 Ewing it’s listed at 420k. A little outside the zone that you referenced but if you’re looking to move it’d be great to have you in the neighborhood.

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