The state of affordable housing has gone from bad to worse on the North Shore. Not only has the number of moderately-priced homes and rentals decreased in communities already deemed by the state of Illinois to have a shortage, but their residents are increasingly burdened by housing costs.
“We need the political will in the northern suburbs to put community first,” says Gail Schechter, Executive Director of Open Communities. “People should control housing and not the other way around. Exclusionary practices are pricing out our elderly and young families, and workers cannot afford to live near their jobs. These deplorable affordability figures should spur our municipalities to take a new look at their housing and loss of diversity, and take responsible action to restore balance.”
On December 16, 2013, the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) released the new list of communities in the state which must do more to provide affordable housing within their borders. IHDA hosted a workshop for the 68 municipalities, all in the Chicago region, to review the requirements under the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act. This Act mandates that communities aim to ensure 10% of their housing stock as affordable, and indicates ways in which these communities could create incentives for private developers of multi-family housing.
In 2004, when the Act was implemented, just 48 communities were on that list. IHDA uses Census data for evaluation. Twelve of the sixteen northern suburbs in Open Communities’ service area are on this list: Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Park Ridge, Wilmette and Winnetka. Glenview is new to the list and none were eliminated.