La Grange Park

http://regionalhousingsolutions.webitects.com/municipality/la-grange-park

Submarkets (What is a submarket?)

58% of La Grange Park is in Submarket 4.
Suburban post-war housing stock, moderate- and middle-income, lower cost stock
42% of La Grange Park is in Submarket 6.
High cost suburban housing stock, low density, high income, aging

Areas with a similar combination of these submarkets:

  1. Ashburn
  2. Avalon Park
  3. Bedford Park
  4. Bellwood
  5. Berkeley
  6. Broadview
  7. Brookfield
  8. Burbank
  9. Calumet Heights
  10. Coal City
  11. Dunning
  12. Elmwood Park
  13. Evergreen Park
  14. Forest View
  15. Franklin Park
  16. Garfield Ridge
  17. Hegewisch
  18. Hillside
  19. Hometown
  20. Jefferson Park
  21. McCullom Lake
  22. Morgan Park
  23. Morton Grove
  24. Mount Greenwood
  25. Norridge
  26. North Park
  27. North Riverside
  28. Northlake
  29. Norwood Park
  30. Rockdale
  31. Skokie
  32. South Deering
  33. Stickney
  34. Villa Park
  35. Washington Heights
  36. West Elsdon
  37. West Lawn
  38. Westchester
  39. Wilmington

Want to find housing data for your community? Download U.S. Census housing data and use the Homes for a Changing Region data guide to analyze it.


Issues + strategies

Most communities have multiple submarkets within their boundaries. The issues facing each submarket as well as strategies tailored to address them are outlined below.

Submarkets with primary focus
Issue 4 6
“Setting the table” for development

Submarket 4

Communities should take steps to prepare for and attract private market real estate investment. Although communities in Submarket 4 have older housing stock and moderate-value homes, they still have many assets on which to build. However, Submarket 4 communities may not be prepared to leverage these assets because, in some cases, they have not taken strategic steps such as addressing troubled properties, improving streetscapes, updating development regulations, or assessing market conditions to prepare for development.

Strategies (expand all)

Maintaining distressed properties Communities can take steps to secure and conceal vacant or abandoned properties.
Communities can take steps to secure and conceal vacant or abandoned properties. Reducing the visible signs of distress on a block, such as the negative effects of foreclosures or short sales, can help maintain nearby property values. Illinois law allows for priority liens for securing and maintaining abandoned residential property, and covers the removal of weeds, trees, bushes, grass, garbage, debris, or graffiti, and securing or enclosing the property. Under this law, municipalities recover their expenses after taxes are paid but before the mortgage is recovered. Thus, municipalities will recover even when the value of the property is less than the value of the mortgage. If municipalities are maintaining vacant property in their community, they should be sure to go through the necessary steps to file a high priority lien on the property. The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and BPI’s publication on Vacant Building Ordinances provides detailed information and step-by-step guidance on this process. Learn more about strategies to deal with vacant property.
Make visible investments Investments in the public-facing streets and façades of the community can help signal a positive investment climate to private developers and improve quality of life for residents.
Investments in the public-facing streets and façades of the community can help signal a positive investment climate to private developers and improve quality of life for residents. Façade and streetscape improvements may be funded by establishing a local Business Improvement District (BID), Special Service Area (SSA), or Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district. These mechanisms use property taxes to gather financial resources for improvements. The City of Chicago’s TIF-Neighborhood Improvement Program (TIF-NIP) is a good example of how to structure a program to encourage exterior repairs and improvements.
Review regulations affecting real estate development To better compete for private market real estate investments, communities can preemptively inventory and update development regulations.
To better compete for private market real estate investments, communities can preemptively inventory and update development regulations. Development regulations protect community health, character, and safety, but can also sometimes be outdated or create unintended barriers to private investment. Some regulations are especially onerous and limit developer interest in investment, while others prohibit forms of development the community may wish to allow. For instance, density limitations may prohibit condo buildings in communities’ historic downtowns. Large minimum lot sizes may prevent the development of starter homes or housing for older community residents. Similarly, point-of-sale requirements may excessively extend home sale transaction timelines. Communities should audit and potentially refresh existing regulations to ensure that they are not creating unintended or unnecessary barriers to development. Assistance may be available through the Urban Land Institute or local associations of realtors to help evaluate perceptions among private market actors of the difficulty of working in the community.
Value of housing planning Municipalities should invest in planning to help define community character and long-term goals.
Municipalities should invest in planning to help define community character and long-term goals. In order to determine which strategies to pursue most actively, Submarket 4 communities must establish a market-feasible vision for future development. There are multiple avenues for evaluating alternatives and setting goals for the community, including hiring a market consultant, engaging in comprehensive planning, or undertaking a local housing plan, such as those provided by Homes for a Changing Region.
Community resistance

Submarket 6

Community resistance to change often stymies new housing options. Local opposition to new housing options beyond the traditional large single-family home is strong. Submarket 6 communities and can make it difficult to attract a diversity of housing options to the area. A few mentioned the value of strong political leadership in setting the tone for a desire of balanced housing types and acceptance of people from across the income spectrum.

Strategies (expand all)

Community education Targeted efforts to build support for diversity of housing stock and people can help address community resistance.
Targeted efforts to build support for diversity of housing stock and people can help address community resistance. Many groups, including elected officials, government staff, non-profits, and citizens, have explored ways to build community support for new housing types and greater local diversity. Utilizing these models in submarket 6 can help address community resistance issues. Read more about the many different best practices.
Encourage partnerships with place-based CDCs Developers that propose more dense housing options or affordable housing may be more likely to receive support if they can partner with a nonprofit community development corporation (CDC).
Developers that propose more dense housing options or affordable housing may be more likely to receive support if they can partner with a nonprofit community development corporation (CDC). CDCs are more likely to have a long-standing and trusted relationship with the local municipality. Elected officials and CDCs should consider meeting on a regular basis to discuss how they can work collaboratively to address local housing challenges and further develop a strong relationship and level of trust. Some areas of the region may lack a strong CDC network. Municipalities in these areas may want to evaluate if they should encourage the development of a local nonprofit partner that can help meet local housing goals. When new proposals are developed, it will be helpful to reference the messaging guide developed through the Housing Illinois campaign. Learn more about community acceptance strategies.
Establish a housing commission Having a local body dedicated to housing issues helps a community craft policies that specifically respond to area housing needs.
Having a local body dedicated to housing issues helps a community craft policies that specifically respond to area housing needs. The Housing Commission can spend time better understanding the community’s housing challenges and vetting potential solutions before they are brought to a Village Board. Both Highland Park and Lake Forest are examples of communities that have utilized housing commissions.
Economic development implications

Submarket 6

The lack of housing options and low density in Submarket 6 may limit economic development opportunities. Municipalities goals' around increasing retail options and fostering a vibrant business community in downtown areas may be limited by the lack of density in the submarket. Economic development may be further limited when area employers find it hard to attract and retain workers who demand different housing options beyond the traditional large, single-family home.

Strategies (expand all)

Value of housing planning Housing planning can be used as a tool to address or prevent a serious mismatch between housing supply and demand for people at every stage of the life cycle.
Housing planning can be used as a tool to address or prevent a serious mismatch between housing supply and demand for people at every stage of the life cycle. In the midst of a strong market, it can be hard to find space to step back and think about overarching issues. Yet, communities that undertake local housing planning, such as that done through Homes for a Changing Region, benefit from a clear vision of the types of housing needed by the community, and can be less reactive to new proposals.
Form matches current demand

Submarket 4

These walkable, higher density communities with access to rail transit may be attractive to current consumers. Due to their age, many Submarket 4 communities are close to the City of Chicago, or within older subregional job centers like Aurora or Waukegan, with strong access to public transit resources. Many of these older communities also have architecturally notable smaller homes on smaller lots, which may be an asset considering changing consumer preferences. Combined with walkable, moderate-density town centers, these assets have the potential to attract investment, especially as family formation continues among millennials.

Strategies (expand all)

Placemaking and marketing strategies Communities should develop strategies to create greater neighborhood identity in order to encourage additional private sector investment.
Communities should develop strategies to create greater neighborhood identity in order to encourage additional private sector investment. Municipalities can make a concerted effort to enhance neighborhood character in Submarket 4 through strategic public investments such as neighborhood branding/signage, streetlights, sidewalks, etc. Public sector investment will likely signal to the private market a commitment to an area and make it more attractive for additional resources. Learn about placemaking strategies. In addition, marketing the local community can also be useful. However, any marketing campaign must be based in frank self-assessment of existing assets and market realities. The “Why Berwyn?” campaign provides a good example of an asset-based approach to community marketing.
Value of housing planning Municipalities should invest in planning to help define community character and long-term goals.
Municipalities should invest in planning to help define community character and long-term goals. In order to determine which strategies to pursue most actively, Submarket 4 communities must establish a market-feasible vision for future development. There are multiple avenues for evaluating alternatives and setting goals for the community, including hiring a market consultant, engaging in comprehensive planning, or undertaking a local housing plan, such as those provided by Homes for a Changing Region.
Growing senior population

Submarket 6

Older adults will demand new housing options and readily available access to transportation and services. Submarket 6 communities will need to think creatively about how to address the needs of a growing senior population given that this area has the highest increase in residents over the age of 60. The lack of housing stock diversity may pose problems for seniors who wish to downsize and stay in the community. Communities will also need to consider how to address the needs of seniors who can no longer drive and will need access to new transportation options. Seniors are more likely to desire walkable neighborhoods that provide easy access to amenities and services.

Strategies (expand all)

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) ADUs may be ideal for seniors who want to downsize and be close to family members, or have caregivers live on the property.
ADUs may be ideal for seniors who want to downsize and be close to family members, or have caregivers live on the property. ADUs are independent housing units created within single-family homes or on their lots. These units can be a valuable addition to a community's housing stock, particularly in an area that has limited opportunities for infill. ADUs have the potential to assist older homeowners in maintaining their independence by providing additional income to offset property taxes and the costs of home maintenance and repair. Communities considering ADUs can reference the Atlanta Regional Commission’s model ordinance language.  Partners for Livable Communities’ A Blueprint for Action also provides specific strategies for creating a successful ADU program and discusses senior-friendly housing ordinances, as well universal design and visitability. Learn more about senior housing strategies.
Age-friendly neighborhoods Age-friendly neighborhoods are walkable, offer housing and transportation choices, as well as access to basic needs and amenities.
Age-friendly neighborhoods are walkable, offer housing and transportation choices, as well as access to basic needs and amenities. CMAP’s Aging in Place whitepaper has a variety of helpful strategies and notes that municipalities should focus on creating age-friendly land use and zoning policies that promote mixed use and allow a diversity of residential districts and housing types, such as allowing for multigenerational homes, cohousing, shared housing, and senior congregate housing. Communities should also accommodate diverse living arrangements, including: “Families of choice” (groups of individuals who are not biologically related but live together and share a kitchen) and allow child and elder care in residential settings by allowing older adults and caregivers to reside together. The Illinois Association of Realtors also has a useful webpage with additional Senior Housing Resources for local municipalities. Learn more about age-friendly community strategies.
Home modifications and maintenance Implementing programs to help seniors with minor home repairs and safety modifications can help residents that want to age in place.
Implementing programs to help seniors with minor home repairs and safety modifications can help residents that want to age in place. Home modifications and maintenance are fundamental to keeping seniors safe in their homes. They can also be an effective way of reducing housing costs, and increasing affordability. There are a variety of assistance programs that a community can implement, which are outlined in Partners for Livable Communities’ A Blueprint for Action. Many communities in our region such as those in the Northwest suburbs operate handyman programs to help seniors with small home repairs. Learn more about senior housing strategies.
Moderate cost but rising levels of cost burden

Submarket 4

Although housing costs are relatively low, community members may still struggle with housing payments. Many residents benefit from the moderate costs associated with living in Submarket 4 communities. However, due to stagnant or declining incomes, some owners and renters are now paying more than they can afford on rent or mortgage and utilities. As the share of households struggling with housing costs rise, it becomes less likely that homeowners will have resources to maintain or improve their homes, and some residents may be vulnerable to homelessness.

Strategies (expand all)

Housing counseling Programs to help homeowners affordably purchase homes and avoid foreclosure can increase community stability.
Programs to help homeowners affordably purchase homes and avoid foreclosure can increase community stability. Although Submarket 4 communities were not the most severely affected by the 2008 housing crisis, effects of the crisis—in terms of foreclosures, distressed sales, and cash sales—still remain. To help owners confronting foreclosure and make sure new owners are taking out affordable, sustainable loans, Submarket 4 communities should strengthen connections with their local HUD-certified housing counseling agencies and encourage residents to seek counseling. Housing Action Illinois, the statewide housing counseling intermediary, can help communities identify appropriate counseling resources.
Preservation and expansion of affordable housing Supporting residents with affordable housing can help meet cost burden challenges.
Supporting residents with affordable housing can help meet cost burden challenges. Since the share of community members in Submarket 4 struggling to pay for housing is growing, municipalities should seek non-profit partners to develop permanent affordable housing options within their boundaries. In Submarket 4 communities, affordable ownership and apartment programs could both be valuable. Affordable homeownership programs help moderate-income residents purchase homes through grants and low-cost loans. Affordable apartments, on the other hand, create lower-rent options that consume a sustainable portion of low-income households’ income.
Need for more diverse housing options

Submarket 6

Attracting new population segments and serving the needs of existing residents may prove challenging given the limited housing stock diversity in the submarket. High housing values and incomes in Submarket 6 have resulted in stability in the housing market. However, municipalities in this Submarket may need to consider how to accommodate changing demand for housing options when trying to attract new segments of the population including young families and millennials, seniors who want to stay in the community, and local employers who want their employees to live near work. Municipalities will need to consider how to accommodate demand for a variety of housing options from these population groups, including smaller single-family homes, more compact development and multifamily housing. Interviewees also expressed concerns about Submarket 6 communities’ ability to accommodate the needs of segments of the local workforce that may be housing cost burdened. Local opposition to new housing options, as well as more attainable housing from a cost perspective, is often strong and will present challenges to municipal officials. In addition, competition for, and cost of, land often make development of new housing options all the more challenging in Submarket 6.

Strategies (expand all)

Affordability through reduced parking Reducing parking requirements can help to keep housing costs attainable.
Reducing parking requirements can help to keep housing costs attainable. In residential developments, higher sales prices or rents must support every additional parking space required by a municipality. The more parking required, the more expensive the development. If communities in submarket 6 are considering building new multifamily housing at affordable prices, reducing or eliminating parking requirements can help. In Chicago, the Transit-Oriented Development Ordinance (TOD) reduces or eliminates parking requirements near transit while providing density bonuses for developers who take advantage of the provisions. Many believe that this has helped amplify the rental development boom in strong markets like Logan Square and the West Loop, opening up previously undevelopable parcels for action. In Libertyville, developers can cash-out their parking requirements, paying the village a fee in lieu of parking not provided on-site.
Affordable housing trust fund An affordable housing trust fund can help to increase the production or preservation of affordable units within a community.
An affordable housing trust fund can help to increase the production or preservation of affordable units within a community. Municipal governments can establish dedicated sources of funding for affordable housing construction, acquisition and/or preservation, such as the fund created in Highland Park.
Demolition tax Revenue raised from a demolition tax can be used to create a fund for the creation, preservation, maintenance and improvement of affordable housing within a municipality.
Revenue raised from a demolition tax can be used to create a fund for the creation, preservation, maintenance and improvement of affordable housing within a municipality. In strong market areas experiencing a loss of affordability or starter homes, a demolition tax can help to create a dedicated source of revenue to fund affordable housing initiatives within a municipality. Evanston, Highland Park, and Lake Forest all have implemented a demolition tax policy.
Establish a housing commission Having a local body dedicated to housing issues helps a community craft policies that specifically respond to area housing needs.
Having a local body dedicated to housing issues helps a community craft policies that specifically respond to area housing needs. The Housing Commission can spend time better understanding the community’s housing challenges and vetting potential solutions before they are brought to a Village Board. Both Highland Park and Lake Forest are examples of communities that have utilized housing commissions.
Inclusionary zoning Linking the production of market-rate housing and affordable housing can help address the issue of housing cost burden.
Linking the production of market-rate housing and affordable housing can help address the issue of housing cost burden. Inclusionary zoning efforts naturally work well in strong markets. These policies either require or encourage new residential developments to make a certain percentage of the housing units affordable to residents at target income ranges. Many communities in the region have adopted inclusionary zoning ordinances, including Evanston, Highland Park, and Lake Forest.
Land trusts Land trusts can provide affordable housing in perpetuity by owning land and leasing it to those who live in houses built on that land.
Land trusts can provide affordable housing in perpetuity by owning land and leasing it to those who live in houses built on that land. Land trusts, like those operating in Chicago and the North Shore, are often an effective tool in helping preserve currently affordable units due to a land trust’s unique ownership structure. When a land trust sells a unit to an owner, they only sell the improvements (i.e. the home), but not the land underneath.
Preservation and expansion of affordable housing Preserving housing units that are already affordable is especially important in strong markets.
Preserving housing units that are already affordable is especially important in strong markets. Any existing affordable housing already in Submarket 6 should be prioritized for preservation. Submarket 6 communities should explore strategies to ensure existing units remain in the long-term, in order to preserve residents’ access to opportunities such as good schools and jobs. Land trusts have proven to be a useful preservation strategy. Similarly, the work in Albany Park highlights the value of targeted work by local non-profits to preserve units in areas with rising prices.
Value of housing planning Housing planning can be used as a tool to address or prevent a serious mismatch between housing supply and demand for people at every stage of the life cycle.
Housing planning can be used as a tool to address or prevent a serious mismatch between housing supply and demand for people at every stage of the life cycle. In the midst of a strong market, it can be hard to find space to step back and think about overarching issues. Yet, communities that undertake local housing planning, such as that done through Homes for a Changing Region, benefit from a clear vision of the types of housing needed by the community, and can be less reactive to new proposals.
Rehabilitation challenges

Submarket 4

The age and condition of homes may be a barrier to redevelopment, despite other advantages. Moderate home values in Submarket 4 have an effect on resources available to renovate properties both for existing homeowners and potential in-movers. If the value of a renovated home at sale is lower than the investment required to perform desired renovations, bank capital for rehabilitation may be limited. Public sector partners can help bridge this gap with low-cost loans and grants for rehabilitation. However, even where available, these programs are not always widely used when the cost of renovations greatly exceeds the amount of individual assistance available.

Strategies (expand all)

Approach to rehabilitation Municipal rehab programs can help certain residents address issues of deferred property maintenance.
Municipal rehab programs can help certain residents address issues of deferred property maintenance. Municipalities in Submarket 4 may consider developing rehab grant or loan programs for certain income-qualified homeowners. Many municipalities around the region have developed these programs, some with the support of federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding (Oak Park, Evanston) and others through their own municipal sources (East Dundee). Neighborhood Lending Services, Inc. (NLS) offers fixed-rate home improvement loans in certain areas of the region and municipalities in these areas should assist NLS with marketing to residents. Municipalities may also want to consider partnering with local banks to explore the development of a rehab financing product for their residents. Read more about the many different models of rehabilitation programs in the region.
Meeting the needs of aging residents As the region ages, it is critical for communities to address the housing needs of older adults.
As the region ages, it is critical for communities to address the housing needs of older adults. Many homeowners in Submarket 4 are aging and in need of high-quality housing options that fit their current stage in life. Submarket 4 communities may want to explore grant programs for aging-in-place that provide updates like bathroom grab bars that help older home owners stay in their homes. In addition, federally subsidized apartment buildings limited to seniors can provide important options for older residents on a fixed income. Finally, allowing higher-density residential development in Submarket 4 downtowns can help provide apartment and condo options for downsizing seniors to remain in the community.

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