Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has seen the effort that she, Aldermen Delores Holmes and Ann Rainey, and then Alderman Lionel Jean-Bapiste put into the NSP2 grant making great progress in Evanston neighborhoods. Rehabilitation on scattered-site housing has moved forward. Foreclosed properties are in different phases of the rehab process and families have started to move in.
The NSP2 grant also covers the building of Emerson Square, a mixed income dwelling area set to begin construction in Spring 2012. NSP2 brings more than housing to Evanston. Jobs are being created. A minimum of 25 percent of construction subcontracts are awarded to minority-owned, women-owned, or Evanston-based businesses.
US Senator Dick Durbin, US Senator Roland Burris and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky supported and helped guide the grant proposal. Senator Durbin came to Evanston for a neighborhood tour to see the progress and was impressed.
“The hard work of Senator Durbin and Congresswoman Schakowsky along with a strong NSP2 application submitted by city staff is paying off starting with this great, newly rehabbed property on Grey Street. This indeed is proof positive that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working,” says Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl.
The goal of the NSP2 funding is to purchase 100 foreclosed or abandoned properties and to rehabilitate these buildings for affordable housing, either for purchase or for rental. In addition, the funds enable Evanston to redevelop local businesses and renegotiate mortgages.
The first NSP2 home was sold on January 5, 2012. The Meeks family had been renters in Evanston but are now the proud new owners of this bright, new home.
“This is exactly the outcome we had hoped for with NSP2 in that these properties would encourage Evanston residents to stay in Evanston, buy up these great new properties and help revitalize the community so hard hit by the recession and foreclosures,” said Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. Photo credit: City of Evanston
Unity is a big part of what makes a community work. Each year the City of Evanston along with volunteer organizations, such as the Kiwanis, and local businesses put on the CommUNITY picnic in Ingraham Park, adjacent to the Evanston Civic Center.
The picnic takes place in late August and celebrates the community's diversity and the beginning of the school year. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl has participated in the picnic since she was an alderman. It’s a chance for the whole community to come together to enjoy food, games, activities and entertainment. Kids and parents have an opportunity to meet the people who work to keep them safe in Evanston’s Police and Fire Departments. Photo credit: City of Evanston
Each July, Evanston’s Ethnic Arts Festival transforms Dawes Park on the lakefront into a global village. Surrounded by the flags of more than 100 nations honoring the diversity of world, attendees experience the colors, sounds, and aromas of diverse cultures. Every continent is represented in song, dance, spoken word, visual arts and food.
Freshman at NU start their first term with in a day of community service. NU wants their freshmen to consider Evanston their home for the next four years and to participate as active members of the community.