Good to see Oak Park’s village government focusing on assessing its current housing status with a comprehensive review last undertaken more than a decade ago. This assessment is essential to the village reviewing and realigning its multiple housing policies in the years ahead.
Meanwhile the village board on Monday heard from five worthy local housing entities responding to an entreaty from village hall for proposals on how to invest funds that have accumulated in Oak Park’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. This $3.2 million stash results largely from the multifamily apartment building boom of the past decade. Developers have paid into the fund as part of their negotiated development agreements with the village.
The fund has been tapped in the past to subsidize worthy projects, including the handsome and affordable building constructed at Oak Park Avenue and Van Buren.
In this round, though, the requests are from longtime Oak Park housing warriors looking to make incremental progress, toward affordable units and against the scourge of homelessness.
We’re impressed by several of the solutions being forwarded that, unit by unit, add capacity for creating affordable housing solutions for a range of those in need, including larger families and teens in housing transition.
These are opportunities for Oak Park both to lead in solutions and to lead in empathy for our neighbors.