Does anybody really want affordable housing in their neighborhood? I don’t, unless I am the one in need of affordable housing. My tax guy said my financials are good for at least another month or two, so I suppose I should start thinking about it.
The Naperville city council doesn’t really want affordable housing either. They’ve proven it by not holding developers accountable to include affordable housing in their development plans. Developers don’t want to include affordable housing, council members don’t push the issue, neighbors don’t want it, so if nobody wants it, why is it an issue?
It’s an issue because the Illinois Housing Development Authority has repeatedly cited Naperville for its lack of affordable housing and city officials are doing nothing, other than talking, to address the issue. It’s not a suggestion by the IHDA, it’s a law.
Watch and listen as Naperville resident Mary Beth Nagai of the DuPage Housing Alliance outlines the situation:
The threshold for compliance is 10% affordable housing, while Naperville is at 7.5% and trending downward. Everytime a housing development is approved without affordable housing, the gap widens. The city council is kicking the can down the road for others in the future to solve. That’s not called leadership, it’s called not having the courage to deal with the situation.
Most recently this happened when the city council voted 8 to 1 to approve Naper Commons 227-home subdivision along Naperville and Warrenville Roads that Pulte Homes purchased from Nokia. The one dissenting vote was by Naperville councilman Pat Kelly who wanted to table the issue allowing more time for neighbors’ to have their concerns listened to and addressed.
Considering the city council can’t muster up enough courage or creativity to move the issue in a positive direction, how about this one. Why not expand the Tent Estates subdivision on the southeast corner of Naper Blvd. and Ogden Avenue. What could possibly be more affordable than a string of tents along Naper Blvd. That would have to inch-up the 7.5% closer to the 10% magic number, thereby getting the Illinois Housing Development Authority off the city’s back. That’s something the city council could support.