HAC Recommendations Aim to Make Naperville a Leader in Affordable Housing

Housing Advisory Commissioner Mark Rice’s notes called June 8 “maybe the most important night” in the commission’s history.

“I believe that it is an opportunity for Naperville to possibly lead the nation in affordable housing,” he said.

Recommendations from City Consultant

At their meeting that night, the HAC approved eight of the 22 recommendations made by consultant S.B. Friedman to address the lack of affordable housing in Naperville:

  1. Implement an Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance
  2. Develop Working Relationship with Affordable Housing Developers
  3. Develop a Strategy to Leverage Publicly Owned Land to Address Housing Challenges
  4. Develop Specific Plans to Preserve Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing
  5. Establish Additional Resources to Assist Population with Special Needs
  6. Create Housing Specific Staff Positions within City
  7. Establish a Housing Trust Fund specifically targeted towards helping veterans, seniors, the
    population with special housing needs and first responders including nurses, police, and
    fire in purchasing a home
  8. Establish a Revolving Rehabilitation Loan Fund specifically targeted towards low income
    seniors who currently own in Naperville so that they can make the necessary repairs to
    their home and age in place

“The recommendations cover everything from housing trust funds to inclusionary zoning to revolving loans for elderly residents so that they can age in place in their homes,” said Rice.

Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance

Rice said he’s particularly excited about the inclusionary zoning ordinance.

“The inclusionary zoning ordinance is where a developer sets aside a specific number of units or a percentage of their development for affordable housing, or in lieu of that set aside, they could also pay into the housing development trust fund.”

Last year, the HAC recommended at least 20% of units in the 5th Avenue Development be affordable. Concepts for 5th Avenue are still in the works, but proposals since the recommendation have included 20% or more affordable units.

Naperville Lacks Current Affordable Housing Stock

The Illinois Housing Development Authority has twice cited Naperville for not meeting affordable housing standards, defined as housing costs making up no more than 30% of a household’s income. It was the only Illinois city of more than 50,000 residents faulted for a shortage.

Naperville City Council will consider the recommendations at a future meeting.

Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.

 

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