Skip to main content

Ad Hoc Housing Committee/Housing Trust Fund Board

Lake Forest, Lake County

Policy and Governance

Largely as a result of its housing committee's Affordable Housing Plan, Lake Forest has adopted several key ordinances that have created new housing opportunities for families of moderate means.

An MPC policy and governance case study

Policy background

City officials in Lake Forest realized that escalating property values were threatening the diversity of the community’s housing stock. In 2003, the average sale price of a home in Lake Forest was over $1 million, an 11 percent increase from the previous year and a 65.5 percent increase from 1994. In response to this concern, the City created an Ad Hoc Housing Committee in August 2003 as a temporary entity to address affordable housing issues and draft an Affordable Housing Plan. This plan recommended several means to create affordable opportunities, including implementation of a teardown tax and inclusionary housing policy to leverage private market activity.

The Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, approved in 2005, required the City Council to appoint a standing committee, now known as the Housing Trust Fund Board, to “coordinate and plan for possible affordable housing projects within the community and administer an Affordable Housing Trust Fund” within one year (by December 2006). Along with passage of this ordinance and the demolition tax, both of which generate funds toward affordable housing efforts, the City established an Affordable Housing Trust Fund in September 2006. The Housing Trust Fund Board has continued the goals of the Ad Hoc Housing Committee by providing financial resources to address the housing needs of low-to-moderate income individuals and families. The seven Housing Trust Fund Board members are appointed to a two-year term by the mayor with the consent of the City Council. One City Council member is appointed to the board. The other members are often affiliated with local community organizations or institutions and have demonstrated interest, knowledge and expertise in housing-related issues. The board makes recommendations to the City Council on how affordable units can best be integrated into new developments and how to arrange funding to support the development of affordable housing with community partners. The board also works with institutions in the community, such as colleges and hospitals, to create affordable housing opportunities on site for their own employees.

How it works

The Ad Hoc Housing Committee, comprised of four members of the City Council, including the mayor, began with the following agenda:

  • Prioritize those persons eligible for affordable housing and evaluate the associated demand.
  • Define and determine the types of housing consistent with the public health, safety, character and environment of the city.
  • Inventory City-owned property for possible use for affordable housing.
  • Coordinate with local college and hospital campuses to determine the viability of affordable housing on those sites.

Between August 2003 and March 2005, the committee held 15 public meetings to discuss affordability issues. In March 2005, the committee presented its Affordable Housing Plan to the City Council, which adopted it later that month. Largely as a result of this plan, the City immediately adopted several key ordinances to create new housing opportunities for families of moderate means. The Ad Hoc Housing Committee was dissolved in the summer of 2006, and the Housing Trust Fund Board is now the official body that coordinates and supports affordable housing projects.


Department of Community Development, City of Lake Forest

  • Goal

    To promote stable, diverse and affordable neighborhoods within the city of Lake Forest.

  • Target

    Low and moderate-income households and employees working in Lake Forest.

  • Financing

    The demolition tax and payments in lieu as required by the City’s inclusionary housing ordinance fund the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

  • Success

    The Ad Hoc Housing Committee was successful in creating the Affordable Housing Plan, which became the impetus for the City’s inclusionary zoning policy and demolition tax. Most recently, the City established a Housing Trust Fund and standing Housing Trust Fund Board.

  • Lessons learned

    Having a housing commission dedicated to the consideration of housing issues provides a venue for public discourse within the city and a resource for accomplishing community goals.