The recent article,
"Adults-only housing makes sense for schools"
(News, Nov. 13), neglected a key question: Is it wise for
our region to favor homes that exclude families with children?
The answer is a resounding no.
A recent report from the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and Chicago Metropolis
2020 calls for more and different types of homes for seniors, so that they can
age in the communities where they raised their families. The same report also
states the need for more homes for young, growing families and single wage
earners, who often cannot afford traditional single-family homes and shop
instead for apartments and condominiums. Meeting one sector's housing needs at
the expense of another's is unsustainable.
Far too many communities in Illinois have either a healthy supply of
affordable homes or good schools – not both. But a healthy community needs both.
That's why in 2007, the Illinois General Assembly approved Good Housing Good
Schools, which rewards communities with new or renovated, non-age restricted,
multi-family housing developments by giving the local school district a bonus.
For less than $1.5 million a year, Good Housing Good Schools could provide
much-needed incentives to pay for quality teachers, while helping spur the
creation of 1,200 new affordable homes.
The legislation remains unfunded.
At a time when homeownership is out of reach for so many
in Illinois, incentives like these are worth it.
Vice President for Community
Metropolitan Planning Council