DuPage County Board to consider affordable housing

The DuPage County Board has plans to address affordable housing needs:

The creation of an ad hoc affordable housing committee was announced during Tuesday’s county board meeting and comes two weeks after the county board set aside $2.5 million to start an affordable housing solutions program.

“If you work in DuPage County, you should be able to live in DuPage County,” said Deborah Conroy, county board chairwoman, after announcing the committee…

The cost of land, officials said, often hinders affordable housing developments…

From 2018 to 2022, some 862 affordable rental units were built in DuPage County, Illinois Housing Development Authority Executive Director Kristin Faust told board members Tuesday. During that same time, 996 homebuyers purchased a home with a mortgage assisted by the housing authority, Faust said.

DuPage County is a relatively wealthy county. According to the Census Bureau, the median household income is $100,292, the poverty rate is 6.9%, and the median value of owner-occupied housing is $324,900.

Additionally, the County and the municipalities within it do not have a great history of pursuing affordable housing. In the postwar era, DuPage County did not build much public housing when it had funds to do so. Municipalities largely pursued housing aimed at white, middle-class and above residents. Affordable housing has been raised as an issue in the county since at least the 1970s. Newer efforts still aim their efforts at relatively well-off residents.

By not having sufficient affordable housing in DuPage County (or in the Chicago region as a whole), the County may struggle to grow, attract workers, and continue the quality of life that residents expect.

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