Editor’s note: This is one of multiple stories from the Oct. 10 City Council meeting.

The City of Evanston will purchase the property at 1808 Hovland Ct. then donate it to Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH).

The Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center.

The home, which has been vacant for several years, has also recently been damaged by fire, according to a neighbor and a city official.

Council authorized the purchase of the property at a cost not to exceed $159,000. Documents provided in the City Council and Administration and Public Works packets did not disclose the name of the seller.

CPAH will refurbish the home and sell it at a price below market value but keep the land in trust. The home, but not the land, can be resold, and the price must be kept affordable for a specified number of years. 

During public comment, Carlis Sutton, Tina Paden and Betty Ester said they opposed the purchase because community members had received no notice. The sole speaker in favor of the measure indicated it would improve the neighborhood.

Paden said, I hope that you would deny this today. There has been no discussion in the community about this property. “The community needs to be involved in the process of any purchase. …You need to have strict rules against purchasing property by the city.” 

Sutton said, “As far as purchasing property, I think it’s very important to notify not only stakeholders in the community but have a meeting where this can be discussed. Secondly, with any building [or purchases] … I would ask you to table discussing it to a further meeting, so members of the community can be notified and have an opportunity to bring their views.”

Ester said she thought the property could have been sold privately, “There are young people that might be able to purchase that house and with help mainly from the city, and that can repair it and make it livable for their family. So why is the city doing all of these purchase of property in the Fifth Ward without notifying the residents?”

Kristin Huzar, who said she is a Hovland Court neighbor said she and other neighbors are happy about the sale. “The property has been vacant for more than 10 years. It has been vandalized and used for drugs. We’ve sent emails about this for years. We are all behind this [purchase] and look forward to meeting our new neighbors.” 

Mary Gavin

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...

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