Tucked between luxury estates off Sheridan Road near Lake Michigan, a Winnetka statue depicts a homeless man, head resting on hand, with this inscription: “No tenements for some and castles for others.”
Some have noted the irony in those words as an ugly debate has roiled over a village plan to introduce affordable housing in Winnetka, long a bastion of wealth and philanthropy.
In the hamlet of 12,000, some residents have protested the plan, igniting fears of federally subsidized housing and government interference. Supporters argue that the proposal is hardly radical and would allow the village’s police, teachers and shopkeepers to live and retire in Winnetka, where the median home price was $1.1 million last year.
Winnetka’s plan calls for a land trust to provide for-sale and rental property to those who make far less than the median household income of $201,650. Owner-occupied units must be affordable to households earning at least $75,000. Rentals must be affordable to those earning at least $45,000 or more. Current residents and senior citizens would receive priority.
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