What if We Put Another House in Your Backyard?

A worker-owned real estate developer wants to make housing more affordable by adding places to live — even in your backyard.

A satellite view of Evanston, Illinois. (Google Earth)

A real estate developer in Evanston, Illinois sees “granny flats” as one way to solve interwoven problems like housing affordability, the climate crisis, and the racial wealth gap.

In this episode of the podcast, Next City executive director Lucas Grindley talks with reporter Ashira Morris about her story on the Evanston Development Cooperative, which is using accessory-dwelling units, or ADUs, to counteract all these problems and more, including gentrification in Evanston and displacement of residents of color.

We also meet Robbie Markus, one of EDC’s co-founders and worker-owners. The worker-owned Evanston Development Cooperative offers “a more holistic way to think about this term ‘housing affordability,’” says Markus. “It's creating an economy where construction workers can also afford to live in our city.”

Listen to this episode below or subscribe to Next City’s podcast on Apple and Spotify.

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