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Evanston Development Cooperative Receives $60,000 Grant from City of Evanston

At a meeting on Monday night, the Evanston City Council voted unanimously to grant Evanston Development Cooperative (EDC) $60,000 from the city’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development Fund.

CDBG money comes from a federal program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that allocates money to cities in order to provide direct assistance to businesses.

EDC is a local cooperative that engages the Evanston community in intergenerational social progress by building high-performing, sensible housing. The co-op recruits and trains Evanston residents to construct homes and become equal owners of the business.

The funding will provide training and jobs in sustainable construction to two low- to moderate-income residents of Evanston, accelerating EDC’s progress on its long-term goals of racial equity, housing, local workforce development, and environmentally sustainable homes.

“EDC believes these intractable challenges cannot be effectively addressed in silos,” co-founder Dick Co said. “We are building a mechanism through which the various stakeholders can work together towards a common goal.”

EDC and the City of Evanston have collaborated closely since the business was founded in 2018. Co made his first pitch at the city’s Special City Council meeting last October, focused on affordable housing. Since then, he and co-founder Robbie Markus have worked with aldermen and city staff to ensure their mission aligns with the city’s sustainability, racial equity and affordable housing goals. Two weeks ago, Evanston’s Economic Development Committee voted unanimously to bring EDC’s funding request before City Council.

“I couldn’t be more encouraged by the work that [EDC is] doing for residents to have an opportunity to own parts of our city,” said Fifth Ward Alderman Robin Rue Simmons at the Economic Development Committee Meeting. “It’s creating job opportunities in a space that we don’t have the talent right now… I couldn’t be more proud to support this work.”

With the city’s support, EDC expects to build two pilot housing units in the 2019 calendar year.

For more information, please email press@evanston.coop or call (847) 497-0167.