HIGHLAND PARK, ILL., A HIGH-PRICED SUBURB north of Chicago, has found a way to deliver housing to some of its service workers and moderate-income residents.
Late last year, service workers moved into the Temple Avenue Town Homes, a six-unit project built by local developer Z Construction of Illinois LLC.
Money for the project was raised by the Highland Park Community Land Trust. Mary Ellen Tamasy, director of the trust, says the nonprofit group raised $568,800 for the project, primarily through the city's $10,000-per-dwelling teardown tax, as well as state and county grants and funding from the Chicago Federal Home Loan Bank.
Five of the six homes sold to families that make less than 80 percent of the region's median income. For a family of four in the Chicago area, that's $58,000. Preference is given to individuals who live or work in Highland Park. To keep the housing affordable, home buyers can take only a limited amount of appreciation out of their homes.
The developer plans to do similar projects every year and hopes to build on its successes. The trust doesn't claim to have the final solution, but over five to 10 years, if the program continues, there will be 100-plus units that will remain affordable.
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