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, and social justice. 
Our Vision is that:
Our state prioritizes funding for affordable housing and requires every county and municipality to have comprehensive plans to create and sustain affordability. Those plans:
  • Are equitable within and across communities.
  • Are integrated with economic development, human services, public safety, and other municipal functions.
  • Include solutions that will meet the challenges of the future related to climate change, an aging population, scarcity of resources, and sustainability.
  • Include goals and measures that municipalities are held accountable for achieving.

Our north suburban Cook County region has a range of sustainable housing choices for people of all economic levels, races, ages, and abilities, and the people who work and have roots here can afford to live here too. Choices include housing in many price ranges and forms that is functional, and safe, provides access to necessities and amenities, and is close to public transportation.

Our local governments view housing as a necessity to which every resident has a right, and actively seek to increase affordability and remove exclusionary barriers to housing for all.

Our residents in all neighborhoods understand the need for and embrace and support the changes that increased affordability and inclusion will require.

How Want to We Achieve This Vision on the North Shore:
Building on What’s There: We support housing solutions that build on strengths that already exist in our neighborhoods, while undoing damage created by redlining and other exclusionary zoning and housing practices. We support preservation of existing affordable housing and stabilizing people in need rather than displacing them.
Variety: We support a combination of solutions that address the multiplicity of short- and long-term needs found in each municipality and ward. The scope of solutions we seek and support will serve the full range of stakeholders—homeowners, landlords, and renters—as community equals. We support solutions that include new building, preservation, and subsidies as key tools for housing affordability. 
Well-Done Density: We support density as a way to increase affordability, social and health supports, racial justice, access to public transportation, environmental sustainability, and economic development. Well-done density is an increase in the supply of quality housing tailored to each neighborhood that makes more housing available to current and future residents at affordable rates and that preserves or improves the environment and the ability of residents to access necessities such as work, food, school, and services as well as amenities such as recreational facilities.
Zoning: We support changing and streamlining zoning codes throughout the region to eliminate segregation and remove barriers to affordability. We support eliminating single-family zoning and permitting reasonable variations in household size and make-up, building configuration, height, size, and parking requirements.

Spending: We support housing as a budget priority for public entities and private stakeholders that serve the community such as universities, hospitals, retirement homes and others. We support municipal efforts to proactively seek and create new sources of revenue specifically for housing-related programs and development.