Shorewood's Village Planner, Ericka Lang has referred to the fact, that in Shorewood, that 47.6 % of our living units are owner-occupied. A proactive program is being initiated to enhance “Shorewood's aging housing stock” so as to attract “young families,” while increasing the homeownership figures.
As reported in the North Shore Now, Trustee Margaret Hickey said that a good target population would be the elder residents with fixed incomes who sometimes find it difficult to obtain bank loans.
The inclusion of elderly in the discussion of this program would appear to keep it focused on upgrading the housing stock rather at attracting specific age groups. As a community, we are unlikely to determine the types of families that will occupy these homes nor should we.
But let's stick with the program itself. Our village planner has put in a lot of effort in producing a draft document. And those trustees, quoted in the media, appear in strong support of the fundamental purpose of this proposed program.
One of the important features not in the news reports is the pay-back. The no-interest loan would come due only at the sale or transfer of the property. Therefore, there would be no current cost to the owner although there might be some future tax modifications depending on the significance of the improvements.
Trustee Dawn Anderson said at the board meeting, that “we're going to have to have some faith that the eligibility requirements will work.” At this point, I'm not sure as to what the “eligibility requirements” are, but I'm sure that they will be thoughtfully defined.
It seems that we may have to have stronger incentives built into the program; however as we view this program at it's first airing we view it as a good start.
All those involved need to be recognized for their good work. I think Village involvement is a great idea. We shall be viewing how it is to develop and be carried out.