North Aurora looks at future housing needs

If current demographic trends continue, the North Aurora of 2040 will have a lot more senior citizens falling into the category of households making $35,000 or less a year. And it will have an insufficient supply of both owner- and renter-occupied housing for the folks in that income category, according to a report presented to the village board earlier this week.

Officials from Kane County and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency on Planning presented the North Aurora-specific portion of the Central Fox Valley Cluster report done as part of CMAP’s “Homes for a Changing Region” project. Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles are also in the cluster. Batavia received its report earlier this month.

According to the report, North Aurora’s population grew by 52 percent from 2000 to 2011. Its median household income is $82,355, and 4.5 percent of its residents live below the poverty line. It is 74 percent white, and 11 percent Hispanic or Latino.

The percentage of owner-occupied housing considered affordable decreased from 75 percent in 2000 to 69 percent in 2011; severely-unaffordable increased, from 4 percent to 10 percent. Affordable is defined as paying no more than 30 percent of income for housing-related costs.

It is not known if the change is due to a change in people’s incomes, removal or addition of certain types of housing, changes in housing prices, or a combination.

The percentage of affordable renter-occupied housing in 2000 was 60 percent; now, about 38 percent is affordable.

The study also projected insufficient supplies, by 2040, of owner-occupied housing for households earning less than $75,000 or more than $100,000, and of renter-occupied housing for households of less than $35,000 or more than $100,000.

Agenda in project?

Only Trustee Laura Curtis commented on the report.

“Isn’t this just basically an affordable-housing initiative, and trying to get communities to increase affordable housing?” she asked.

Nancy Firfer, a senior adviser to the Metropolitan Planning Council, said “no.” Incomes typically decrease as people get older, she said, but the study did not take into account people’s assets. The study is an attempt to find out what housing will be needed 30 years from now.

Curtis, a real estate appraiser, also said the study contradicted the market, as North Aurora grew in higher-end housing in the past decade, and asked what the village is committed to doing if it accepts the report.

It is intended to guide village planning, such as the pending revision of its comprehensive land-use plan.

The public can comment on the report between Nov. 1 and 30 at The final report will be released in May.

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