Geneva adds 8 spots for affordable housing

Geneva is adding eight sites to the list of places where it might allow affordable housing to be built.

The city council will vote on revisions to the Geneva portion of the "Homes for a Changing Region" Central Kane County plan Monday night. The council adopted the plan a year ago.

One of the biggest sites is near Delnor Hospital. There is a senior housing complex to the northwest that was planned to have five buildings. Only two have been built. Building the other three as "affordable" units would go a long way toward satisfying the amount of such housing Geneva could have, Alderman Jim Radecki noted Monday.

The plan, which the council adopted last year and was approved by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, calls for 10 percent of Geneva's housing stock to be affordable. "Affordable" is defined as costing no more than 30 percent of a household's income for rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance and taxes. According to the report, 53 percent of renters in 2011 in Geneva were paying more than 30 percent of their incomes toward housing, and about 32 percent of owners were doing the same. Geneva was about 350 units short of the goal.

Two other possible large sites are those of the Burgess-Norton plants on Richard Street and on South Street. They might become available if Burgess-Norton were to move production to a new industrial park the city hopes to develop near Fabyan Parkway and Kirk Road, community development director David DeGroot said.

Other spots could include a city parcel on Gary Lane; a site on South Batavia Avenue; an area on Whitford Lane; the southwest corner of Kirk Road and Route 38; an area behind the Walgreens on West State Street; and a parcel to the southeast of Island Park.

DeGroot said that the city has been receiving "a lot of interest from affordable housing developers." Geneva has been designated an "opportunity area" by the state because it has a low poverty rate, high accessibility to jobs and a low amount of affordable rental housing. Developers seeking financing or tax credits from the state could receive more points on their application because of Geneva's designation.

A map showing all the sites is available in the packet for the council's meeting in the Agenda Center on the city website,

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