Plans to build low income housing on the former site of an American Legion post in Wilmette have brought complaints from neighbors that the new building will cause crime problems similar to those experienced in Evanston.

The neighbors, as reported by Daily North Shore, have cited 10 years of police incident reports from the Claridge Apartments at 319 Dempster St. in Evanston, owned by Housing Opportunity Development Corporation, the non-profit that’s planning to redevelop the American Legion property at 1925 Wilmette Ave,

Based on a Freedom of Information Act request to Evanston Police, the neighbors claim that there’ve been “57 nuisance complaints, 57 disturbance complaints, 4 criminal trespass, 3 suicide attempts, 7 domestic battery, 1 death by drug overdose, 10 mental afflictions and 16 suspicious persons” at the Claridge site over the past 10 years.

HODC has said it plans to rely on a waiting list for the Claridge building to help fill the planned 20-unit building in Wilmette.

The neighbors claim the building would be the first low-income housing in Wilmette not targeted to seniors, veterans or people with disabilities.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Even Others Can See
    Even others can see the crime associated with low income housing. Except Evanston as it deteriorates more and more.

  2. NIMBY and statistics
    The complaint statistics cited, for a 10 year period, offer no basis for comparison to support a claim for increased crime. Does Wilmette not have complaints, suicide attempts, or domestic battery? Perhaps these Wilmette “neighbors” have made more “suspicious persons” complaints than the number at the Claridge site.

    1. Numbers are Laughable

      Agreed. There were 57 disturbance complaints over 10 years near a 48 unit building. First, that is probably not any more than any other 48 unit building, affordable housing or not. Second, that works out to .12 complaints per unit per year. I would be willing to bet the average New Trier student gets more complaints than that. The rest of the numbers are so low they are flat out laughable. It is housing for employed adults, not a criminal housing complex.

      1. Probably a bet
        Really? 4200 students x .12 complaints = 504 disturbance complaints per year at New Trier?

        They must have a really good PR department to keep that quiet!

        Facts are probably not that important when you are making a point.

        1. Facts Important

          Apparently not as the student population at New Trier is only 3200, which would make the number 385. Also, that was per unit, if you extrapolate per person the figure would be closer to 185. Its not like I am going to file a FOIA request to get the facts for a website post, but it doesn't sound that far fetched to me.

    2. Huge number of Zoning Variances asked for, NOT so laughable

      Crime stats are just one concerning aspect of the proposed property. The huge number of zoning variances asked for should automatically disqualify the property from the use. Those statistics are NOT laughable and need to be addressed before this intended use is agreed to.

Leave a comment
The goal of our comment policy is to make the comments section a vibrant yet civil space. Treat each other with respect — even the people you disagree with. Whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *