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City Takes Snapshot of Affordable Housing

Approximately 18 percent of housing in St. Charles is classified as affordable.

Just over 18 percent of housing in St. Charles is considered affordable by state standards, a city report revealed.

During a Planning & Development Committee meeting earlier this week, City Planner Matthew O’Rourke provided council members with a snapshot of affordable housing in St. Charles. A 2003 Illinois law requires that 10 percent of housing in each municipality should be classified as affordable.

Affordable housing is defined by the Illinois Housing and Development Authority as housing that has a “sales or rental price within the means of a household that may occupy low-income housing.” In the case of a single-family home, housing that is within 80 percent of the area median income and for rental properties the target is 60 percent of median income. IHDA expects 30 percent of annual income to be spent on housing.

Average area income is $74,812 per household, with the 80 percent mark falling to $59,850. City data shows 958 households in St. Charles earn income in a range of $50,000-$59,850.

The median price for a single-family home in St. Charles is $225,000, down from $302,000 in 2006. The median home price in St. Charles increased 11.3 percent since 2000, but decreased 25.5 percent since 2006 with the downturn in the economy.

Using the IHDA formula, Housing costs for those at the 80 percent level is $17,955 per year, or $1,496 per month. City data places the costs of an affordable owner-occupied home at $187,450.

There are 9,604 owner-occupied units in St. Charles. City data places the number of affordable owner-occupied homes at 1,253.

There are 4,297 rental units in St. Charles with 1,251, or 29.11 percent, classified as affordable.

Combined, St. Charles has a total of 2,504 housing units classified as affordable.

According to the 2006 United States Census, 40 percent of Kane County renters and 30.9 percent of homeowners pay over 35 percent of their monthly incomes on housing costs.

Henry James June 15, 2012 at 06:49 PM
In other words we don't need anymore apartments added to the inventory regardless of affordability. We have plenty of rental units. Add to that the number of Forclosures which are over 400 we have plenty of housing available. Please City Hall stop with the high density development!
Brian Doyle June 15, 2012 at 09:39 PM
The 2011-12 Affordable Housing Snapshot does not draw that conclusion. The same report also indicates that 4,666 households in St. Charles (37.6%) have annual incomes less than or equal to 80% of the AMI. 2,504 residential units are deemed afforable for these families.
Elizabeth R June 17, 2012 at 02:17 PM
But we are at 18% which is a large cushion and therefore we need not force development of any more at this time. The economy and housing market hasn't rebouded back and housing likely will never rebound to the fictious prices of 2004-2006. Like Henry James says, we don't need to be building any more affordable units of any type for that exact purpose (meeting state standards) until we see data that we are dropping near 10%. We need to be building and developing commercial opportunities to create jobs, and City revenues to fund City budgets and infrastructure improvements. This crazy notion that this town needs more and more residential is absurd. We are already the largest population in the Tri-Cities and we have the worst offerings of commercial development. Keep building only residential and and it will be us who will be funding the all the other local Cities through our spending in their communities because we have nothing here worth spending our money at. We are already doing so up and down Randall Road.
Brian Doyle June 18, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Louis: Although the purpose of the city's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance is "to ensure that an adequate stock of affordable housing is, and remains, available in the City of St. Charles," the ordinance doesn't precisely define what is meant by adequacy. Is it simply a function of meeting the state requirement or should it be determined according to the number of residents (or a portion thereof) who actually need affordable housing? The ordinance does, however, specify the terms of enforcement--namely that "the construction of new Affordable Units and the payment of fee in-lieu of Affordable Units shall not be required for any new Residential Development following a determination by the Director (of the Community Development Department) that the percentage of the total number of Dwelling Units within the City of St. Charles that are Affordable Units is 25% or greater." Therefore, if the city is to contemplate general non-enforcement of the ordinance until we see data that we are dropping near 10% (as you suggest), that would require an amendment to the ordinance by the City Council. Otherwise, the legislative intent is clear.

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