Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 Open House Event
On June 14, 2012, the City of Evanston hosted a Neighborhood Stabilization Program 2 (NSP2) Open House at 1733 Leland Avenue in Evanston. Members of the community were invited to attend to learn about the program, marketed as LiveEvanston, and meet local contractors involved in the rehabilitation of these foreclosed homes. U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, State Representative Robyn Gabel, and Alderman Delores Holmes (5th Ward) were on hand to kick off the open house and discuss the successes of this initiative.
The Open House began with opening remarks from Mayor Tisdahl, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and Alderman Holmes. Mayor Tisdahl and Alderman Holmes recognized the various individuals involved with the project, from contractors and realtors to organizers from LiveEvanston. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky highlighted the importance of “government partnerships” and “public-private initiatives” as well as the benevolence of the initiative as it makes housing affordable for many Evanston residents and contributes to the greater goal of improving a diverse array of areas within Evanston. Schakowsky expressed hope for more homes on the “beautiful block” of Leland Avenue before joining community members, elected officials, and others involved in the initiative for an Open House tour. Other attendees included ETHS superintendent Dr. Eric Witherspoon and Evanston Township Assessor Bonnie Wilson.
NSP2 is a program funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 from which the City of Evanston was awarded $18.15 million to help stabilize two neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.
The featured property, located at 1733 Leland Ave., is a beautifully renovated LiveEvanston single-family home that is move-in ready. It's like new: sparkling renovated kitchen with granite countertops, dark-wood cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and new fixtures; newly refinished hardwood floors; EnergyStar furnace and hot water heater and insulation; freshly painted; new roof; and new landscaping.
In addition, a nature preserve, which includes Smith Pond, is located behind this property as part of the Evanston Township High School’s field, an area that represents a pinnacle of sustainability in the 5th Ward.
In addition to mitigating the effects of the foreclosure crisis by returning foreclosed homes to productive use as attractive, high-quality rental and owner-occupied affordable housing for low and moderate and middle-income households, NSP2 provides economic opportunity for local businesses and residents.
The city has established the goal that a minimum of 25 percent of construction subcontracts for NSP2 be awarded to minority, women, or Evanston business enterprises (M/W/EBEs). Additionally, HUD requires that ten percent of construction contracts be awarded to Section 3 business concerns. To date, approximately $5.2 million in subcontracts have been awarded; of that amount, 72 percent has been awarded to M/W/EBEs and 31 percent to Section 3 businesses, all of which are local. Finally, of approximately 30 new hires for NSP2-related work, 60 percent have been low-income Evanston residents.
Ultimately, the LiveEvanston program aims to acquire and/or rehabilitate 100 foreclosed housing units to provide quality, affordable owner-occupied and rental housing. So far, thirteen units are occupied; 20 are on the market for sale or for rent; and an additional 20 are being rehabbed. Units will be available through early 2013. Current for sale listings are provided at www.LiveEvanston.net and rental listings are available at www.cityofevanston.org/nsp2rentals.