Wilmette, IL

Wilmette slashes Housing Assistance Program

October 15, 2013
Despite pleas by fair housing advocates, Wilmette lawmakers recently made significant changes and cuts to the village's Housing Assistance Program, appealing to the private sector to pick up the slack.
     During an Oct. 8 village board meeting, trustees voted 6-0 to a cut a large portion of funding to the $48,000 program and to make changes in other areas. In the past, senior citizens and people with disabilities were recipients of much of the funding in the 34-year-old program, called HAP, officials said.
     The resolution includes an immediate moratorium on new applications to HAP, limits to four years the amount of time people can receive property tax support, and slashes village funding except for $3,000 in annual funds designated for "one-time emergency housing grants." It also phases out the rent assistance component of the program, starting July 1.

Condo project settles lawsuit

January 15, 2009
One of Wilmette's lakefront high-rise condominium developments will have to convert formally to senior housing and pay out $28,000 to settle a 3-year-old fair housing complaint.
     Interfaith Housing Center of the Northern Suburbs today announced terms of the settlement that the organization reached late last year with 1630 Sheridan Road Corp., a 104-unit cooperative in Wilmette along Lake Michigan.
     The complaint, filed in 2006 by Interfaith, stemmed from reports that an owner was blocked from selling a unit to a family with young children under a cooperative rule stating the community was "not suitable for children under 18 years of age." Because the building had not been designated legally as senior housing, the no-children rule was in violation of state and federal fair housing laws, Interfaith officials said. The complaint was referred to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and then the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

Disabled couple sues village for front drive

July 18, 1998
George and Astrid Dadian lived in Wilmette for nearly 40 years until disabilities forced them to think about changing their house and adding a front driveway to accommodate their medical needs and Astrid's wheelchair.
     The neighbors didn't have a problem with it, but the village did.   The couple, now in their 70s, had hoped to tear down their home and build a handicapped-accessible ranch home, complete with ramps, an attached garage and front driveway.
     The couple sued Wilmette in federal court Friday, after the village recently voted against giving them a front driveway permit. The lawsuit claims the village violated state and federal laws--including the Fair Housing Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act. 
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