Advocacy Team Surveys New Housing Ordinance

The advocacy team of Interfaith Action of Evanston has been monitoring enforcement of the city’s amended inclusionary housing ordinance, which went into effect on January 1. The ordinance is designed to require developers to include affordable housing in their planned development projects.

Under the ordinance, at least ten percent of new units built in Evanston must be available at affordable housing rates. If developers decide not to offer the affordable housing option, they must pay fees of between $75,000 and $100,000 in lieu of building each unit under the requirements.

The advocacy team, which worked to support the ordinance last year, has been studying city records and attending City Council meetings to be certain that the ordinance is being enforced. Here is what is happening this year.

A new 163-unit senior housing center at 1815 Ridge was approved by the City Council this year, but the developer is not bound by the new housing ordinance since the proposal was received in 2015.

Developers of 824-828 Noyes have submitted plans to construct a four-story building with 44 dwelling units. They are including four affordable units, which meet the rules of the new housing ordinance.

Developers of 3233-3249 Central plan to pay a $75,000 fee in lieu of building one unit at affordable rates in their proposed 14-unit development. The money will be placed in the Affordable Housing Fund, which is used to fund housing-related needs  including development of affordable housing units.

by Richard Cahan, board member