Community Partners for Affordable Housing holds information session for affordable rental opportunities


Daily file photo by Madison Smith

Community Partners for Affordable Housing held an information session to explain how to apply for new housing opportunities Tuesday.

Community Partners for Affordable Housing shared information about how to apply and qualify for upcoming affordable rentals in Evanston in a Tuesday information session at Robert Crown Branch Library.

The information session highlighted the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, which was implemented in 2019 to promote Evanston residents’ welfare. It requires residential developments to include a percentage of units with affordable prices for low and moderate income households.

CPAH director of development and community relations Amy Kaufman said the organization offers guidance to individuals seeking affordable rental units and homeownership. Its program also helps individuals with maintenance and repairs they might not be able to afford in Evanston and surrounding areas. 

“I’ve been doing this for almost 12 years and pretty much every family and every individual that we’ve interacted with has their own story,” Kaufman said. 

Kaufman handed out waitlist applications for attendees to join the waitlist and receive offers for affordable rental openings. She said individuals anywhere on the list have the opportunity to accept an offer for a unit based on the preferences they list on the application.

Former Evanston resident Joy Grizzard said she lived in Evanston for 20 years before moving to the city for a “better education” for her two daughters. After some personal hardships, she is moving back to Evanston, but has had difficulty finding affordable and accessible options.

“I got an email from the library about the session, and I figured I would find out what I could because coming to an event like this is a lot different than just reading the information,” Grizzard said. 

Robert Crown Branch Library Engagement Services Manager Jill Skwerski said the library works in partnership with CPAH to host information sessions and other programming surrounding affordable housing as a part of their focus on equity and inclusion.

In her engagement role, Skwerski said she heard from multiple Evanston residents who have been displaced from their homes this summer. Many have been unable to find other housing due to increasing rent, she said. 

“We’re just trying to break down barriers,” Skwerski said. “The purpose of the program is for the community to come and ask their questions. This is a program that we need to repeat again and again.”

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