'Our hope is that Black residents will return home to Evanston': Reparations program moves forward in Evanston

The first of its kind in the nation for city level reparations is happening in Evanston, starting with housing disparities. 

And, it could come with a $25,000 benefit.

Alderman Robin Rue Simmons says there has been a steep decline of African American residents in Evanston, which started about 10 years ago.

This was enough for the City Council to approve tax revenues from cannabis sales in the city for reparation; the first phase is addressing housing disparities.

“We aren’t starting with a $10M fund, we are getting the money over time,” said Simmons.


The details in qualifying are being worked out.

As it stands, Black residents that faced housing discrimination from 1919 up to 1969 or their descendants would be eligible for up to $25,000 dollars toward the costs of a new home. Or, existing homeowners could use it to pay property taxes or make repairs.

In the coming months and years, it is expected that millions of dollars will be allocated for the groundbreaking reparations program.

City council will decide the rules for applicants next week.

“Our hope is that Black residents will return home to Evanston,” said Simmons.

The rules for qualifying will be decided Dec. 18.