City Council approves contract to purchase a vacant Hovland Court property for affordable housing


Daily file photo by Jacob Wendler

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Yiming Fu, Staff Editor

City Council approved a contract to purchase a property at 1808 Hovland Ct. at an October 11 Administration and Public Works meeting. The city will donate the property to Community Partners for Affordable Housing, a nonprofit that aims to develop and provide affordable housing in Evanston. 

The terms of the purchase say the nonprofit will refurbish and sell the home below market value to provide an additional affordable housing option in the city. 

The three-bed, one-bath property, which sits in Evanston’s 5th Ward, was recently damaged by fire.

Evanston resident Kristin Kutzner Huzar, one of the leaders of the Hovland Court Block Club, said residents have complained about the property for years and have called for a change in property use. 

“We are all united and super excited that this house is going to be purchased,” Huzar said. “And we are looking forward to welcoming the neighbors on our block before too long.”

The money for the $159,000 purchase comes from Evanston’s Affordable Housing Fund, which has about $1.5 million in funding, according to the Administration & Public Works packet. 

Evanston resident Betty Ester said she is concerned about the city buying up private property in the 5th Ward. She said young people in the ward may want to purchase that house, and residents should be consulted before making such decisions. 

“Is the city now being a realtor to buy property to invest in and to give away?” Ester said. 

This summer, City Council bought at least two vacant properties for affordable housing in the 5th Ward.

Evanston resident Carlis Sutton said the city should not only notify neighbors, but also hold a meeting with residents to discuss property decisions. 

“If any building or anything is going to be bought, I would ask you to table anything discussing that to a further meeting until members of the community can be notified and have an opportunity to bring their views,” Sutton said. 

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Twitter: @yimingfuu

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WEB: A previous version of this article misstated the status of the city’s purchasing contract. The Daily regrets the error.