U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


The village of Oak Lawn, a mature and stable community in Cook County, Illinois, is predominately composed of middle-income families. Many residents commute to work in adjacent communities because the village does not have any major employers.

Action Plan

For the first year of the Consolidated Plan, Oak Lawn is requesting $355,000 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

Citizen Participation

During the development process, the village did not encounter any problems or areas of contention.


The 1990 census reported that Oak Lawn's population was 56,182, a decrease of 4,408 residents during the past decade. This decrease can be attributed to village children who leave the community upon reaching adulthood. The population is 98 percent white, with a growing minority segment that is nearly 2 percent Hispanic and less than 0.1 percent Asian American and African American. Minority populations are not concentrated in any distinct area within the village.

The median age is 40, which is significantly higher than the regional average. A growing elderly population requires an increasing supply of affordable housing and services. During the past 5 years, the village has used CDBG funds to meet housing and community needs.



The 1990 median family income was $45,871. In 1991 the unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, which was considerably lower than Cook County's rate of 8.3 percent. However, because of significant company cutbacks and corporate closings during the past 3 years, many residents have lost their jobs or had their incomes diminished, precipitating the need for an affordable housing program. The 1990 Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission reported that 3 percent of Oak Lawn's population lived below the poverty level, which was defined as $13,400.

Housing Needs

Oak Lawn has 21,459 housing units, with 17,583 being owner-occupied. The housing vacancy rate is 1.7 percent. The single-family housing rehabilitation program responds to the special needs of 2,065 female-headed households. Of 28 applications on file for this program, 5 belong to single-headed households.

Market Conditions

Average housing costs are estimated at $114,122 for a single-family, detached unit and $85,988 for a multifamily, attached unit. These prices parallel costs in the region. The fair market rents for apartments are $567 for a one-bedroom, $663 for a two-bedroom, and $834 for a three-bedroom unit.

Realtors rate the condition of housing as good to excellent. One notable exception is a subdivision incorporated into the village in 1966. Homes in this area were built without benefit of code enforcement, and many require rehabilitation to comply with current village code standards.

Affordable Housing Needs

Of all rental households, 14 percent are cost-burdened, spending more than 30 percent of their gross income on housing expenses. Overall, 954 very low-income families (earning 31-50 percent of median family income [MFI]) and 497 low-income families (earning 51-80 percent of MFI) need rental subsidies.

Homeless Needs

Because the 1990 census reported that Oak Lawn does not have a homeless population, the village currently does not fund any formal institutions for the homeless. However, local agencies, including the Village of Oak Lawn's Department of Family Services and Saint Germaine and Saint Gerald Churches, offer basic assistance and counseling for persons at risk of homelessness. Clients are predominantly elderly or very low-income persons.

South Suburban Public Action to Deliver Shelter (PADS), a local volunteer shelter organization for the southwestern suburbs, surveyed area providers. Those surveyed reported that approximately 342 homeless individuals from Oak Lawn received direct services. Because the need for homeless shelters is not imminent, the village has not developed any transitional shelter units.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

Oak Lawn currently has no public housing facilities. Historically, this program has not been needed.

The Cook County Housing Authority administers the Section 8 certificate and voucher programs. Currently, 27 households receive housing assistance -- 3 families and 24 elderly households or persons with disabilities.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Oak Lawn does not have any regulations or policies which inflate housing costs or inhibit incentives to develop, maintain, or improve affordable housing. The village is aware of the difficulties involved in purchasing a home or locating affordable housing. The situation will be improved by a progressive planning perspective, which will include a comprehensive villagewide zoning plan.

Fair Housing

Because Oak Lawn is a home rule community, the Village Board passed a fair housing ordinance in 1991. This ordinance created the Fair Housing Commission, which is responsible for receiving, investigating, and responding to any complaints relating to fair housing practices within the village. No complaints were received in 1994.

In 1994 the Fair Housing Commission hosted a symposium to promote fair housing in Oak Lawn. Similar symposiums will be held annually.

Lead-Based Paint

The Cook County Department of Public Health reported that no cases of elevated blood-lead levels were documented in 1994. One home which received rehabilitation assistance in 1994 contained lead-based paint (LBP).

Staff continue to monitor LBP hazards. The housing rehabilitation program requires that loose paint be removed, covered, or repainted. Public information and education on LBP hazards and risk reduction will be provided.

Other Issues

No housing stock serves persons with disabilities or persons with HIV/AIDS and their families. Because no special needs population exists, the village has not made housing for these persons a priority. However, persons with disabilities in Chicago metropolitan communities, including Worth Township and the village of Oak Lawn, can receive services through Park Lawn, a nonprofit agency. It provides a school, vocational training, and a residential program.

Community Development Needs

Oak Lawn plans to use nearly one-third of its CDBG funding to meet community needs for a comprehensive zoning plan. In addition, as part of ongoing infrastructure improvements, Oak Lawn plans to carry out street landscaping and repairs.


The Office of the Manager of Oak Lawn has had lead responsibility for the development of the Consolidated Plan. This role has required significant coordination with a wide range of government agencies and other organizations. The Oak Lawn Business Development Commission, the Fair Housing Commission, and the Chamber of Commerce served as a special advisory committee providing consultation and guidance in setting priorities. In addition, PADS provided invaluable assistance.


Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

In summary, Oak Lawn's 5-year strategy encompasses the following goals and objectives:

Housing Priorities

The following priorities will begin to meet housing affordability needs in Oak Lawn, and some may have a positive effect on homeless and near-homeless persons.

Nonhousing Community Development Priorities

Nonhousing and community development priorities include the following:

Antipoverty Strategy

The antipoverty strategy is based on decentralizing low-income households, providing a wide range of services, and maintaining a strong local economy. As permitted by eligibility requirements, activities in the four priority programs listed above will be carried out equitably in all neighborhoods.

In the past year, local businesses gained access to a low-interest loan program that helps to promote job growth and a healthy business environment. A Community Development Department is being established to promote local economic growth.

Housing and Community Development Resources

The village plans to devote 32 percent of its annual CDBG entitlement grant to the housing rehabilitation and elderly housing priorities of the 5-year strategy. The village has identified State loan programs to help low- and moderate-income families, the elderly, and the handicapped obtain housing at a reasonable cost.

Several local lending institutions -- Advance Bank f.s.b, Bell Federal Savings and Loan, and Talman Home Mortgage -- participate in the Illinois Home Buyer Program, which offers loans to first-time homebuyers. The village views these institutions as potential partners to facilitate affordable housing.

Other potential resources include nonprofit organizations, the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, the Illinois Bankers Association, and the Illinois Realtors Association.

Coordination of the Strategic Plan

To maximize efficiency and effectiveness and minimize administrative overhead, Oak Lawn will continue to work with local governments of contiguous and surrounding communities to identify common housing goals and strategies to meet these goals. Organizations such as the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, the American Planning Association, and the Northeastern Planning Commission have contributed leads and advice. In addition, the village will establish contracts with nonprofit agencies with particular areas of expertise to provide a wide range of supportive services.


Description of Key Projects

Funding for key projects planned for the coming year includes:


The priority analysis and development strategy calls for all resources to be available throughout the village and among all eligible residents. A key priority is to serve low- and very low-income elderly and large families.

Lead Agencies

Oak Lawn Family Services and the private, nonprofit PLOWS Council on Aging implement policy addressing the housing needs of low-income and elderly populations. Working with other nonprofit and municipal organizations during the coming year is a high priority. Village representatives will participate in seminars sponsored by the American Planning Association and the Illinois Municipal League, and officials will use data maintained by the Realtor Association.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

To comment on Oak Lawn's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Pam Joseph, CDBG Administrator
9446 South Raymond Avenue
Oak Lawn, Illinois 60453
Phone: 708-499-7817
Fax: 708-636-8606

Return to Illinois' Consolidated Plans.