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What readers think about affordable housing ideas

Evanston Now readers surveyed voiced support for most of a range of proposals advanced as ways to provide more affordable housing in town.

Evanston Now readers responding to a survey voiced support for most — but not all — of a range of proposals advanced as ways to provide more affordable housing in town.

The City Council tonight is scheduled to discuss the city’s affordable housing efforts.

We’ve weighted the responses from the 481 readers participating in our survey in the charts shown in this story to reflect the distribution of income levels among Evanston residents.

A plurality of residents supported two of the proposed changes.

Eliminating the city rule that limits occupancy of dwelling units to no more than three unrelated persons drew support from 47% of the readers

Permitting two- and three-flat buildings in zones now restricted to single-family homes drew support from 44%.

But a majority of readers, 52%, said they were opposed to easing height restrictions to permit taller buildings with more units in existing multi-family and downtown zones.

By contract, a clear majority of readers embraced two other ideas.

Permitting more government-subsidized mixed-income housing developments, like the recently-approved 16-story project at 1900 Sherman Ave., drew support from 65% of survey respondents.

And changing the zoning code to permit construction of tiny homes — defined as detached, micro-dwelling units with a ground floor area of 500 feet or less — also drew support from nearly two-thirds of those responding.

There was relatively little variation in views by income level, although there was somewhat stronger than average support for tiny homes among low income residents and somewhat less support among the same group for eliminating the three-unrelated rule and easing restrictions on building height.

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