From left, Amy Kaufman, Mark Stec, Ald. Peter Braithwaite, Rob Anthony and Cindy Rawlings in front of first of 10 homes being rehabbed for affordable housing. RoundTable photo

Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) recently partnered with the City of Evanston to secure a  $1.5 million grant to acquire and rehabilitate at least 10 foreclosed properties in Evanston, the majority of which will be blighted properties in the Second Ward, said Rob Anthony, executive director of CPAH.  Alderman Peter Braithwaite (2nd Ward) was instrumental in obtaining the grant, he added.

The first home that CPAH acquired as part of this project is located in the 1400 block of Darrow Avenue, Amy Kaufman, director of community relations for CPAH, told the RoundTable.  The home, as well as other homes acquired under the grant, will be rehabbed by professional contractors as well as by volunteers on organized volunteer days. They will then be rented or sold to low- to moderate- income residents, she said.

On Nov. 16, 20 students from Evanston Township High School and 20 from North Shore Community Bank volunteered to help with minor demolition work, painting and cleaning up the yard at the house in the 1400 block of Darrow. Once the rehab is complete, CPAH plans to rent this particular house at an affordable rent, said Ms. Kaufman.

Ald. Braithwaite told the RoundTable the grant was made through the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, and is a portion of the funds secured in a settlement with mortgage lenders.

 “We are excited to partner with [CPAH],” Ald. Braithwaite told the RoundTable. “They are taking foreclosed homes and turning them into affordable housing, which is great for our ward.”

Ms. Kaufman said CPAH, a non-profit headquartered in Highland Park, uses a land trust model which enables it to keep the homes it acquires affordable to successive renters and buyers on a permanent basis. CPAH currently has 55 homes in its inventory. Citizens’ Lighthouse Community Land Trust, an Evanston-based organization that acquired, rehabbed and sold one home using the land trust model, recently blended into CPAH.