New Developments in Affordable Housing

A number of supporters of the Interfaith Action of Evanston Advocacy Team joined with others to speak at the September 13th City Plan Commission regarding the proposed Albion Residential development on Sherman Ave and Lake St. The question of whether this building should be approved is beyond the scope of our mission to serve the hungry and homeless of Evanston, and we, therefore, took no position on that. Our goal at that meeting was to ensure that, if approved, it would include a maximum number of affordable units. We were very clear that we were neither advocating for or against the development’s approval.

There were many good arguments both for and against the proposed development, and we advocate strongly for the creation of as many affordable units as possible in any development that goes forward.

And IAE and our partners succeeded in this. As it turned out, the Plan Commission voted to recommend approval of the development to City Council. And they decided for their recommendation to include the condition that Albion Residential provide an alternative equivalent proposal for complying with the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance—one that includes at least 15 affordable units of different sizes available at 50%-60% of the Area Median income.

This development may not move forward when the City Council decides on it. If it does, however, Interfaith Action’s Advocacy Team and its partners have strongly increased the likelihood that it will include a good number of affordable units, more than any other development has included in the past. We hope that this will be an important precedent for future development in Evanston!