Articles

Supporting 51 New Units of Affordable Housing

Here are synopses of statements made to the City of Evanston's Planning & Development Committee in support of the Housing Authority's proposal for the Emerson mixed-income apartment building at 1900 Sherman in Evanston. Also see our Fact Sheet on the Emerson. 1st Ward Viewpoint The City of Evanston website states a vision to create the most livable city in A...

Fact Sheet on Housing Authority Proposal for The Emerson

51 New Units of Affordable Housing: The Emerson, at 1900 Sherman   Overview of Development 168 units 51 affordable units: 34 priced for people with incomes at 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) (about $45,000 a year for a family of 4). Unit prices would be around $1,125 a month. However, HACC is intending to provide vouchers as needed to reduce rent to 30%...

Letter to City Council Supporting The Emerson

November 18, 2020 According to the DePaul University Institute for Housing Studies, there is a shortage of more than 6,900 affordable units in Evanston and Skokie combined. (Click on the link at the bottom of this page to access this data in the Appendix to the study cited.) Dear City of Evanston Aldermen and Mayor Hagerty:   Members of Joining Forces for ...

Here's Evanston's Opportunity to Choose Affordable Housing!

Last January, Joining Forces members spoke at a special City Council meeting, exhorting the City to "Choose Affordable Housing!" Shortly after that, the pandemic set in, and momentum on most issues stopped. Now, however, there are inklings of action, and it is time for the City to respond by choosing affordable housing--usually over other easier or more popu...

What We Want to See Happen to Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis

Housing is a human right. We envision diverse, inclusive communities with sustainable housing for all. Joining Forces for Affordable Housing has developed this definition of what we are advocating for to address the affordable housing crisis. This definition will change over time as programs take hold in our communities related to reparations, climate change...

Advocating for Affordability and Equity in North Shore Zoning

Joining Forces has reviewed the portions of the Evanston City Code related to housing in light of affordability and equity. We believe that both Evanston and the surrounding communities should expand this effort and overhaul their municipal codes to accomplish the following: Eliminate elements in the Code that make it more difficult and more expensive to cre...

Impact of COVID-19 on Housing Needs & Advocacy Response

The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting and exacerbating so many of the problems our community faces. Housing is no exception: Connections for the Homeless is currently providing hotel rooms, food, clothing, and other basic necessities to about 200 people who have nowhere else to shelter in place. The number of calls we are receiving from people who need help ...

Current Responses to COVID-19 from Housing-Related Agencies

Joining Forces for Affordable Housing held its first meeting since COVID-19 struck Illinois on April 6, 2020. One of the things we talked about was how local housing & homeless agencies are responding.  Connections for the Homeless As of April 13, Connections is hosting approximately 200 people in hotels in Evanston. These people all have nowhere else safe w...

Call to Action in Evanston: Choose Affordable Housing!

Evanston's City Council meeting on Tuesday, January 22, was focused on affordable housing. Here is the packet for the meeting , and here is a video of the meeting . During public comment, 13 members of Joining Forces spoke, asking the City Council to "Choose Affordable Housing" in 13 different ways. And one of our members added both beauty and meaning to t...

Community Discussions of Undesign the Redline

In October of 2019, Joining Forces for Affordable Housing held several community meetings at the Civic Center to review and discuss the Undesign the Redline exhibit that was on display. Our focus was on considering the exhibit's suggestions for future action that would help to dismantle the restrictive limits that redlining imposed on Black communities and...

Seeking Crazed Costume Designers/Architects

For the 2019 July 4 parade in Evanston, Joining Forces members made wearable houses out of cardboard boxes and marched down the street as a somewhat fluid neighborhood. While marching in formation was not our strong suit, our members were incredibly creative in designing their houses, and in spite of the heat, we had a great showing and lots of enthusiastic ...

Recap of Housing Action Illinois Conference

I attended Housing Action Illinois' annual conference, called "Housing Matters" on October 24 and 25. It was excellent, and I recommend everyone interested in housing issues in Illinois watch for this next year and head to Bloomington in October. Here's a link to descriptions of the sessions from the conference, that includes links to the PowerPoints that w...

Share Your Experience

NEW DATES: Cook County Needs Your Input to Improve Fair & Affordable Housing Options in Our Community Why Attend? Attend one of these meetings to learn about opportunities for free winter workshops (with compensation provided) for people who want to become advocates for fair and affordable housing.   A $25 gift card will be raffled off at each meeting listed...

Affordable Housing Feedback from Evanston's Wards

During the summer, Joining Forces and Reclaim Evanston partnered to hold one meeting in each of Evanston's nine wards, asking residents for their input on the need for affordable housing. This article summarizes the feedback we received from community members on what types of solutions they would like to see.  Interestingly, we did not see great differences ...

Progress Toward Affordable Coach Houses & ADUs?

Coach houses and ADUs (accessory dwelling units) are a hot topic in Evanston, since many backyards have room for them and they may have the potential to  be a new source of affordable housing. However, turning this cool idea into reality is going to take some work. Here's what's going on. Seeking to Do a Pilot The Evanston Development Cooperative (EDC) is ...

Sorting Out Local Affordable Housing Community Input Efforts

Discussions about affordable housing abound in our community, which is a great thing. Also great is the desire of groups working on the issue to get input from across the community. However, there are so many community outreach efforts going on, that it can be a bit confusing. I have listed the efforts that we know about below. As we are involved in some of ...

What Could Evanston Do about the Lack of Affordable Housing?

City of Evanston staff came up with a great list of ideas to address the affordable housing crisis in Evanston back in 2017 (see their White Paper ).  We have added to it below, with just some of the ideas we have drawn from research. There are LOTS of solutions. But it all starts with planning--a list of solutions is not the answer. We need a plan that def...

Join Us in the July 4 Parade!

Please join us as we march in the Evanston July 4 parade . Here are the logistics and opportunities to participate— for you, your families, your friends . Kids love being in the parade!   If you would like to join us, please sign up here (scroll down to July 4). For questions, contact sloellbach@connect2home.org .   Before the Parade: We will assemble b...

Using City-Owned Property for Affordable Housing

Recently, several parcels of land owned by the City of Evanston have been for sale. One was the old Recycling Center on Oakton, which is moving toward becoming a climbing wall facility. Another is the library parking lot, where a controversial proposal to build a large office building was being considered and was recently declined by the City Council. We und...

Join the Fight to Increase Homelessness Prevention Funding

The State legislature has through May to finalize the State budget, and Joining Forces has been working with a state-wide coalition to increase the budget line item for the Homelessness Prevention program. A description of this important program and its benefits to the community is at the end of this article. We have already spoken with many of the legislato...