Affordable Housing Committee Meeting Minutes ~ 9.1.21

Location of meeting:  Via Zoom

Time meeting was called to order: 7:00pm

Attendees:  Kristin Berg, Nan Parson, Marilyn Novak, Melani Kaplan, Jeanne Wells, Julianna Lopez de Philbrook, Karen Banks-Lubicz, David Aslesen, Judy Fregetto

Agenda Items:

  1. Michael Rabbitt from Neighbors for Affordable Housing told us about a 297 unit apartment development to be built in Chicago on Higgins Road near the Cumberland Blue Line Station.  There will be 59 affordable units in the property.  The Chicago Plan Commission approved the proposal, and it now moves on to the Zoning Commission and then City Council for final approval.  An article with more information is made a part of the minutes and the link to it is here:

The presentation to the Plan Commission will be sent with these minutes.  It includes a rendering and specifics about the proposed property.

Michael will be in touch with us as the development moves through the process.  He would appreciate the support of Park Ridge residents since it is on the border with Park Ridge.  Park Ridge could benefit from the 59 affordable units as people who work here or want to live close to Park Ridge could apply for these apartments if they qualify.

  • The city has hired 2 new planners:  Claudia Hampel as Planning and Zoning Coordinator and Drew Awsumb as CP&D Director.  Claudia is recently out of school and Drew comes to Park Ridge from Highland Park where he was the Deputy Director of Community Development.  This is a plus as Highland Park has a “gold standard” Housing Plan and is a leader in the development of affordable housing.  Nan and Kristin will set up a meeting with each of them. 
  • Nan and Kristin also want to set up meetings with Aldermen Biagi and Sanchez.  Karen may also attend.
  • Nan talked about the book, The Sum of Us, which makes a case for how we all do better together than when racially divided.  Action Ridge’s Diversity Discussion Group will be discussing this book on 9/29.  All are welcome.
  • Ann Kapustiak will be presenting on the history of Park Ridge – how we got to be segregated  – at the November Action Ridge meeting.  She has done lots of research with the help of her professor at Tulane University.  She will also provide insights as to how and why MSHS was built.  Ann is working on social media for Action Ridge.

Action Ridge is also sponsoring the film, The Long Shadow, which will be shown by the library on 9/16 with a discussion to follow:

Virtual “The Long Shadow” – Q&A with Frances Causey

Thursday, September 16, 7-8 p.m.

This program will be held virtually through Zoom. Register here.

Join Emmy award-winning filmmaker Frances Causey to discuss her documentary, “The Long Shadow,” about her North Carolina family’s slaveholding past and how the American legacy of slavery exists today. Co-sponsored by Action Ridge.

Stream the documentary and submit questions for Frances at

The Action Ridge October meeting will hopefully be an in-person meeting at the Community Church.  The new structure that the working group has put together will be presented at that meeting.

  • Nan and Kristin have been asked to present and be panelists in a LWV Palatine program:  The Importance of Stable, Affordable Housing for Communities and What You Can Do About It.  The LWV are very interested in hearing how we formed a Housing Group with grass root support throughout the community.
  • There was a check-in on the Advocacy Toolkit.  Members are beginning to work on it.  Kristin will follow-up with Ginger to see if she is able to create the google document to collect all of the information.
  • The group celebrated Cleland Place, a 16 unit AH development that just opened last week in Wilmette, 7 years after it was first proposed.  It was a long process that faced community opposition but won approval in the long run.  There were close to 200 people at the Ribbon-Cutting.  Other communities are having success in building AH!
  • Pastor David Aslesen introduced himself and let us know he wants to get involved with the housing and other social justice issues that Action Ridge is working on.  He worked on these issues with Lake County United in his former position.  He plans to have Sue Loellbach from Connections for the Homeless present to his congregation and then to the Ministerial Association.  The Association is made up of 12 congregations in Park Ridge and Niles, the Center of Concern in Park Ridge, and Lutheran General Hospital.  He hopes to engage them in a conversation about housing as part of a wellness plan to help people from diverse backgrounds move into our community and make it thrive.  Having access to AH improves the mental health of the community as a whole; unstable housing raises anxiety levels.
  • Karen informed the group of the Biden Housing Plan to build 100,000 homes in the next 3 years.

Time Meeting Adjourned:  8:00pm                                                              

Next Meeting Date:  Thursday, October 7th at 7:00pm via Zoom

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