The Affordable Housing Plan Steering Committee is composed of individuals that represent a wide variety of perspectives with regard to housing needs in Evanston. The Committee has no more than 11 members to ensure that quorums and decisions can be made, and work can be accomplished in a timely and efficient manner. Evanston residency is not a requirement to be on the Steering Committee; however, its members must have considerable knowledge of the Evanston community. The Steering Committee will be responsible for overseeing the overall development of the Affordable Housing Plan. The expectation is the process will take 12 months, and the Steering Committee will meet monthly in order to ensure that work moves forward in a timely manner.
Housing is a key element of fostering a livable community. Where people live has a strong correlation to their educational outcomes, health, and economic mobility. A study published in July 2017 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, titled “Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties, 1980 to 2014,” found that where you live has a significant impact on your life expectancy with disparities as high as 20 years from various counties. The costs associated with housing represent the largest household cost. The increasing cost of housing is requiring more people to spend an increasingly larger portion of their income on housing, leaving them without the resources they need for other necessities such as food, health care, and transportation. Lower income people are disproportionately affected, as wages for many jobs, particularly in service industries, have not risen as rapidly as housing costs. In order to maintain Evanston’s economic and racial diversity and support its mission to be the most livable City, it is necessary to create and preserve affordable housing throughout the city.