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To:  Sheldon Silverman, Chair, Northbrook Plan Commission, and Sandra Frum, President, Village of Northbrook 

As Northbrook residents and business leaders, we urge the Village of Northbrook to make increasing the supply of affordable housing and promoting a diverse housing stock stated goals in the Village’s Comprehensive Plan.  

We have a unique opportunity to encourage our local officials to begin now to implement its own Affordable Housing Plan (adopted in 2005 and on-line at in a way that best meets the needs of Northbrook.

Housing prices have far outstripped wage increases in Northbrook, and what few lower-cost units existed have been torn down.  Many of us could not afford to buy our own homes today, and we have neighbors who are leaving Northbrook because they simply do not have the wherewithal to stay.  Moreover, as the Village notes, the number of residents over age 65 has more than doubled making affordable and accessible housing for this population “critical.”  The Northbrook Chamber of Commerce has recognized housing as a serious issue for employee retention.  The economic diversity of our community is increasingly difficult to maintain. 

Providing for housing at all price points offers a solution to a dire housing shortage affecting teachers, police officers, firefighters, government workers, service providers, people with disabilities, long-time elderly residents, young working families and others in our community.  Creative use of existing housing stock is also an efficient and low-cost way to promote living affordably and close to family or work, such as through shared housing (Homesharing) and permitting accessory living units. 

We believe that Northbrook is rich, not because of the size of its citizens’ stock portfolios but because of the quality and character of those who live and work here.

We all share a love of Northbrook and it is our responsibility as citizens to take an active interest in building a diverse and open community.


Background: The Village of Northbrook is redrafting its Comprehensive Plan, which was last reviewed in 1982. Despite meeting with affordable and fair housing proponents over the last 4 years, the draft Plan which was released in January 2010, has no mention of affordable housing. The Northbrook Village Board will meet on March 9, 2010 to consider incorporation of public comments into the Comprehensive Plan. The Plan Commission will then hold further public hearings prior to a final review by the Village Board in late April 2010. Northbrook Citizens and Businesses for Affordable Housing, c/o

Links, for the Draft Northbrook Comprehensive Plan.  See specifically Element Four: Neighborhoods, Housing & Community Diversity for the housing section:
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