Affordable homes for our community...
now and in the future

Community Need:

The lack of affordable housing is an issue affecting communities throughout the country and Chicago's northern suburbs are no exception. The Lake County Framework Plan indicates that the median housing value in Lake County increased 81% over the past 30 years while the median household income only increased 24% during that same period. According to the City of Evanston’s 2015-2019 Consolidated Plan, over 38% of residents are housing cost burdened. Housing costs have dramatically outpaced the growth in personal income, making housing less affordable for everyone and not affordable at all for many.

The lack of affordable housing also makes it difficult for local businesses to hire and retain employees. Data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows that of some 12,000 people who work for Highland Park businesses, nearly 80% are employed in the service and retail sectors where the average annual salary is below $35,000. Interviews with public sector employers tell a similar story. Salaries for school employees, nonprofit staff, artists, city employees, health care workers, retail staff and others put housing in the area out of reach.

Many families who are faced with the death of a wage-earner, residents who are going through a divorce, seniors and persons with disabilities are pushed out of the community. These trends have made it increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to maintain diverse, healthy and sustainable communities.

Safe, decent and affordable housing is a basic, under met need for area residents and employees. CPAH is one of the few entities addressing the lack of affordable housing in the region and it is the only entity that builds a permanent inventory of housing which will remain affordable forever to address the communities’ current and future affordable housing needs.

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CPAH Spotlight:

Craig & Nicia's Story

This is our story of how CPAH helped us turn our lives around and change directions.

We were earning enough income from our jobs that we were able to start saving for a home. Our second baby was on the way and while we weren't entirely secure, we felt we were making progress.

Then Nicia, along with hundreds of others at her company, unexpectedly lost her job of 13 years. Suddenly, we went from two incomes for our family of three, to one income for what would soon be our family of four. To make matters worse, with winter coming, Craig's hours as a truck driver were reduced. Since the rent for our townhome was now out of reach, we looked for a one-bedroom apartment, but we couldn't find decent, affordable housing.

For for the first time, we went into credit card debt to meet our monthly expenses. We were sinking and no matter what we tried, could not change directions. We felt hopeless.

Then we heard about CPAH. We quickly learned that CPAH had thrown us a life preserver. CPAH encouraged us and helped us through the application process. When we were fully qualified, we thought that maybe this was our chance to change directions.

When we walked into the home that would eventually become ours, it was unbelievable. Could this really be a home for our family? The answer was a life-changing yes. Now we have a safe, affordable, permanent place to call home and are optimistic about our future. Our expenses are manageable, and we are part of a wonderful community. Thank you CPAH!

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