With Cleland Place, HODC meets one of the key components of its mission, to expand affordable housing to where it would otherwise not be available. The development is named after Jean Cleland (1923-2013), a HODC founding board member, Wilmette resident and advocate for civil rights and affordable housing. Located in a historically affluent neighborhood with a high barrier to entry, Cleland Place is the first affordable housing for families ever built in Wilmette. Cleland’s grandchildren attended the opening, and provided a quote from her, "When I first moved to Wilmette it was too expensive for the average grocery clerk or postal worker to live here. I like to think my hometown should be accessible to all people."
Targeted especially towards Veterans and people with special needs, the 16-unit development, which was approved by a unanimous City Council vote, consists of a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments for residents who live and work in Wilmette and earn less than 60 percent of area median income.