“Affordable housing is an economic burden shared by all residents.” 

That’s language included in the draft version of a new River Forest plan to address a state-identified shortage of affordable units in the village. We’ll start by stipulating that affordable housing is complex. Prove it by having people offer their own definition of affordable and you’ll encounter the initial challenge. Add that River Forest is more or less fully built up, is more or less filled with affluent single family or condo units, with the rest of the land taken up by non-property-tax-paying universities and you get the challenge. 

But our appreciation to Keary Cragan, a member of the Plan Commission, which is addressing affordable housing, for her request that consultant John Houseal flip the rhetoric from negative to positive. More diversity in housing price points, while a challenge, can be a notable benefit for the village, an opportunity even. And kudos to Houseal for acknowledging that possibility as he begins a new draft.

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