Lisle is well-positioned in its variety of housing options which allow ownership or rental at many price points across housing types (single-family, multi-family, and townhome). This is a great asset as there is a variety of well-established data supporting the importance of housing diversity to the economic vitality of a region.
Sometimes there is a misperception that new or existing rental units undermine the stability or economic prospects of the region. This has not been found to be true in most cases, particularly with the development of mid-to-high end rental units in mixed-use, transit-oriented locations. One such development in Lisle’s downtown may be soon brought before the Village Board for discussion purposes.
This type of housing option primarily caters to millennials and empty nesters. The former are often early-career individuals weighed down with student debt and unable or unwilling to purchase a single-family home. The retirees that locate in these developments want to downsize and enjoy the convenience of apartment living and who can blame them? No one likes removing snow from their driveway in February!
At the very least, housing that appeals to these two demographics keeps young people and retirees engaged and contributing to the community- in its parks, houses of worship, civic life, and frequent local businesses. Especially in the case of the younger cohort, having a lot of local talent living in the area may attract employers to Lisle that want to hire from that pool.
Of course, any housing development should be considered on its own merits within the larger economic context of the specific site and area in which it is being located. However, it’s important not to fall back on old stereotypes that preference single-family homeownership over other financially sound and desirable housing options. Doing so would rely on incorrect assumptions, unsupported by data, and risk unfairly stigmatizing groups of people who want to be in the community and choose to do so by renting.