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Affordable ADU Supported by the City of Evanston

Evanston, IL – On Monday, April 13, the City of Evanston (City) voted to award $190,000 in a forgivable HOME Investment Partnerships Program loan to the nonprofit Housing Opportunity Development Corporation (HODC) for an affordable accessory dwelling unit (ADU) at 1930 Jackson Avenue.

In partnership with HODC, the Evanston Development Cooperative (EDC) will serve as the design-builder for this 2-bedroom coach house. It will be rented at 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) for 20 years. The loan to Housing Opportunity Development Corporation will be forgiven following the successful completion of the required affordability period.

As the exclusive Chicagoland installer for the structural insulated panels by Eco-Panels, EDC will construct this affordable ADU to exceed U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) energy efficiency goals and take a step towards a carbon neutral built environment. The project aligns with the goals of the City of Evanston’s Climate Action and Resiliency Plan (CARP), and it will help HODC keep the ADU affordable at lower operating costs.

This project became possible due to the City of Evanston’s January 2020 Ordinance, which allows the development of ADUs behind multi-family structures. The coach house will be built behind an existing two-flat that currently provides two 3-bedroom rental units for income-eligible households. Prior to the Ordinance, ADUs could only be built on properties with single-family homes. Additionally, the property will not be required to add an additional 3rd parking spot under the new Ordinance, as the ADU meets the affordability criterion in the Ordinance.

At the April 13 Planning and Development Committee meeting, 5th Ward Ald. Robin Rue Simmons stated:

“I think [this project] would be a great example to show to other homeowners that are considering taking advantage of our new zoning to expand accessory dwellings on multifamily units.”

Evanston Housing & Homelessness Commission approved the project with a 4-0 vote on February 18, 2020. On April 13, the City’s Planning & Development Committee voted 6-0, and City Council voted 8-0 to award the funds.

The City of Evanston’s HOME Investment Partnerships Program funding comes from HUD. More specifically, the City is utilizing the “CHDO Reserve” portion of its HOME funding. 15% of annual HOME funding must be distributed to a certified Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO), and this reserve must be used for acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of housing units for income-eligible households. The forgivable loan for this project combines Evanston’s CHDO Reserves from 2018, 2019, and 2020.

HODC is certified as a CHDO by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, Cook County, and the City of Evanston. It has an existing wait list for all of its affordable rental units in Evanston, demonstrating the need for this project. EDC appreciates the collaboration of our City and HODC to advance affordable, sustainable housing options in our community.

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