Naperville Comes up Short on Affordable Housing

Donate Today

Of the approximately 50,000 homes in Naperville, only about 3,800 are classified as affordable under the Illinois Affordable Housing and Appeal Act.

That’s just 7.5 percent, short of the 10 percent mandated by law. But that’s actually an increase from where the city was at in 2013, last time the report was issued.

“The good news about that is we used to have a 6.4 percent affordable housing. So it has increased and we’re in the ballpark with comparable communities like Elmhurst and La Grange,” said Naperville City Councilwoman Judy Brodhead.

To figure out what residences are affordable, first income limits are calculated by finding the mean income of an area.

For Naperville, incomes are combined with DuPage, Will, Cook, Kane, Lake, and McHenry counties to get an area mean income of $57,250.

But the idea is to measure how many homes are affordable to people who make less than that – so the income limit for purchasing is set at $47,400, and renting at $35,550.

Affordable residences will have monthly costs of less than 30 percent of those limits. A house would cost less than $131,667 total, while rent for a one-bedroom apartment would have to be $952 or less.

“So what do you have to do to get to that kind of a rent? Often what you do is you just get a smaller unit. Even within an apartment complex you could have studios, and one-bedroom apartments. They don’t all have to be larger two bedroom apartments,” said Brodhead.

The city is considering adding more affordable apartments in the 5th Avenue Redevelopment Project.

But for those looking to buy affordable real estate in Naperville right now, condos are a decent option.

“Condos can range anywhere from $100,000 to over one million dollar condo. But the average around here is about $150,000,” said Dan Firks, an agent with Defined Realty Group and Keller Williams Realty.

The city is required to submit a plan to increase the amount of affordable housing to the Illinois Housing Development Authority within 18 months.

Naperville News 17’s Blane Erwin reports.