Affordable Housing Advocacy Group Meeting Minutes ~ October 27, 2022

Date: October 27, 2022

Location of meeting:  Via Zoom

Time meeting was called to order: 7:03pm

Attendees:  Kristin Berg, Nan Parson, Marilyn Novak, Melani Kaplan, Kathy Rolsing

  1. City moving very slowly on Comp Plan and Housing Plan.
    1. We have been told the following by Drew Awsumb:
  2. The city has commenced meetings with both the P&Z Commission (comp plan) and the MMC/IHDA/CMAP team (housing plan) in September and is making some incremental progress.
  3. COMP PLAN | The P&Z Commission started with B-4 district zoning and basically downtown planning for the Uptown area. We’re looking at land use shifts and how that aligns with both our goals, as well as existing B-4 zoning. That was on the agenda in August and September, and it’s on the agenda again Wednesday night.
  4. HOUSING PLAN | We are organizing next steps on MMC’s ( Metropolitan Mayors Caucus) effort, which we anticipate some public presentations and perhaps focus groups. The State of Illinois’s Affordable Housing Planning & Appeal Act requires that the City cannot adopt their affordable housing plan without holding a public hearing, so there will be opportunities for public input, regardless.
  5. I would anticipate the timeline for both projects extends into January and February, and because they are iterative planmaking processes, perhaps into springtime. But they both remain top priorities for the City.
  • The PZC is discussing Land Use in the Uptown B4 district.  A list of potential uses was distributed to the commission.  Nursing homes and assisted living was on the list but not AH per se. 
    • Scot Karstens appointed to the PZC.  Ginger Pennington and Chris Parsons submitted applications but not appointed.
    • Meetings with alderpersons, commissioners.  Bring Fact Sheets.

There was a discussion about the extended timeline for the Comp Plan, but at least the PZC has started talking about it.  Kristin will communicate with the commission about including AH as a permitted use in B4 -perhaps as Supportive Housing, as suggested by Melani.

Nan has offered some dates later in November to the newest alderperson, Mwende Lefler, for a meeting to introduce Action Ridge to her.  The group talked about including the mayor in the list of those to meet with.  Nan and Kristin met with him years ago, but he refused an invitation a couple of years ago when the Comp Plan was under discussion.

  • Action Ridge joining the Chamber of Commerce
    • AR Leaders agreed to join the Chamber.  AR can always resign if there are negative consequences.

Nan submitted the CoC application, and it was accepted.  She was contacted by Ann Scallon, the Chamber’s Ambassador, to see how the Chamber can help AR.  Nan received a copy of the online newsletter which features ads from businesses.  The group talked about what type of ad AR could design for the newsletter.

  • Infographics, social media posts and timeline for release; strategy for messaging
    • AH Fact Sheets.   Discuss further revisions.

The Housing Affordability 10.20.22 sheet will be finalized with the addition of Park Ridge’s Affordability Share number as calculated by IHDA, which is 8%.  A sentence in red will be added under the paragraphs about the AHPAA.  The Salaries sheet will be revised to include only 1 teacher salary (that for Elementary Teacher), and additions of administrative assistant, municipal employee, and grocery store worker.  Columns will be added for the rent amount and home price each worker category can afford at 30% of their income.

  • Collection of written stories of those in PR that need AH.

We will continue to collect brief written stories from those looking for affordable housing in Park Ridge.

  • LWV representative’s 2nd meeting on Monday 10/24 to address local housing needs and initiatives.
    • Each attendee is to report back with 2 goals to locally move the needle on AH forward.  Goals for LWVPR:
      • Park Ridge filing a Housing Plan with the state
      • Language in the Comprehensive Plan that encourages the expansion of housing options in Park Ridge and the inclusion of clear objectives to increase diversity in housing options.

Kristin gave a report on the second regional LWV Housing Coalition.  Each attendee talked about AH issues they face in their towns.  Like Park Ridge, some other towns are revising their Comp Plans, others are looking for ways to increase AH, even in those municipalities that have over 10% AH.  The LWV Glenview points out long waiting lists for the AH they do have and would like to see developers pay into an AH fund to help finance additional AH.  Funding could come in the form of a tear-down fee or donation of land.  Besides multifamily AH, communities could buy small homes and put them into a Land Trust, making them available to those with lower incomes.  We also talked about further strengthening of the AHPAA by making the enforcement mechanism by the Attorney General more explicit and possibly come up with a state formula that looks at cost-burdening rather than only a percentage of total housing units (the current formula).  Kathy Cortez (Palatine) will look into this further with legislative reps such as Ann Gillespie, State Senator from the 27th District, who sponsored the latest revision of the Act.

The group encouraged Kristin to talk to local officials – whoever is in the position of getting something done for AH and supported our decision to wait until AH is on the PZC agenda before circulating our petition and other informational materials to the public.  Everyone agreed that collecting stories from those who need AH is key to persuading those in power to act.

Kathy created a Google Drive for the members to post progress and share information.

The next meeting is January 9th on ZOOM.

  • Upcoming Events
    • AR General Meeting November 16th at the Community Church at 7:00pm.  There will be conversations with the SOAR groups from our local high schools. 
    • AR Diversity Discussion Group.  We will be meeting on Wed., Nov. 30 to discuss “How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery across America” by Clint Smith.  Beginning in his hometown of New Orleans, Clint Smith leads the reader on an unforgettable tour of monuments and landmarks, ”those that are honest about the past and those that are not” that offer an intergenerational story of how slavery has been central in shaping our nation’s collective history, and ourselves.
    • Donate to Asylum Seekers.  There is a city-wide effort in Des Plaines to collect donations, and there is one at Maine West High School specifically to support new families there. The list of items needed and locations to donate to can be found at:  Please help these newly arrived families!
  • Time meeting adjourned:  8:30pm
  • Next Meeting Date:  Monday, November 28th at 7:00pm via ZOOM

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