The Wilmette community is proud to have a history of taking progressive action to address housing needs. Since the early 1980s, the Village of Wilmette provided financial housing assistance for low income seniors and long-term Wilmette residents with permanent disabilities to enable them to remain residents of the Village. This assistance had been primarily funded by an affordable housing escrow.
The housing assistance program provides support to long-term Wilmette residents to help pay property tax bills ($1,800 in assistance annually) and to pay monthly rent ($200 per month). Currently, 27 Wilmette residents are receiving assistance and we need your help to keep these members of our community in their homes. A number of beneficiaries have called Wilmette home for 40, 50 and 60 years!
The need for housing assistance has been created by the increased cost of rentals and real estate tax payments along with the erosion of purchasing power for the dollar, making continued residence in the community increasingly difficult for many on fixed incomes. The program recognizes that these residents for many years have contributed taxes (directly or indirectly) which to a great extent have gone to support the young people in our schools and other community facilities.
Participants must be individuals on social security disability or seniors on fixed income, earning less than $29,000 per year for a household of two. Property tax recipients are required to pay back the assistance they receive when their property is sold and this money goes directly back into the housing assistance program to help more residents.
In 2013, as the Village of Wilmette’s affordable housing escrow was nearing depletion, the Wilmette Board of Trustees, in an effort to save the housing assistance program, created a not-for-profit corporation, Housing Our Own-Wilmette, to privatize fundraising and finance the assistance program. Since that time, more than $100,000 has been raised to continue the support of Wilmette’s seniors and persons with disabilities.