Evanston Compensation Commission Considering Direct Cash Payments


Evanston’s reparations board unanimously on Thursday amended its local reparations restoration housing program to include direct cash payments as a fourth option for residents directly affected by the city’s red line. voted to add

The committee also voted unanimously to consider developing a cash payment program separate from the housing program.

Commission members Bonnie Lockhart and Claire McFarland-Barber were not present at the virtual meeting held on March 16.

In the housing program, those who apply and are randomly selected in a lottery can choose from three options for using the $25,000 grant. You can use up to $10,000 to buy a home, make a mortgage payment, or spend up to $10,000 on a home improvement project and use the rest to: Her two other options.

Two brothers, Kenneth and Sheila Weidman, were selected in the first round lottery, but the program ran into problems when they were lessees and did not want to use their funds for the options outlined. bottom. The committee voted at the March 2 hearing session to allow the pair to receive the cash in person.

The Reparations Commission applies the term “ancestor” to Evanston residents who were 18 or older between 1919 and 1969, when the real estate industry was redlining. is the first group to receive They are usually older residents and some have died waiting for the funds they applied for.

“If you have to wait in line, the more time goes by, the more you lose your ancestors. “The fourth option, the direct cash payment fix, will allow these people to benefit quickly.”

Once the ancestral group has been served, the committee plans to move on to descendants who are direct living relatives of the ancestors who experienced redlining.

The commission received pushback from residents who said qualified black Evanstonians should be able to spend their money as they please. Designed to help you take ownership and build wealth through your property.

“We already have a program designed by the input of the community,” said committee member Robin Lou Simmons. …I think it’s in the best interest. I made it very clear.”

While some are hesitant to go ahead with cash payments due to concerns about tax implications, Reed said making adjustments just for those who don’t fit into the current program’s housing paradigm won’t work unless it’s added to. As all options stated there is no point.

“To enable direct cash payments and to recognize that direct cash payments can build intergenerational wealth, help bridge the wealth gap, and allow people to decide for themselves how they spend that money. We are willing to revise this program significantly,” Reid said. “Or they’re saying, ‘No, this program is rigid, it has a specific purpose, and we’re going to keep it that way.'”

The Reparations Committee is scheduled to meet again on April 6th. Members will further discuss the direct cash payment program.


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Written by Natalia Chi

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