About Us

Do you believe in the value of a home to call your own? We do.

We started Morgante Wilson Architects (MWA) in 1987 with the goal of designing homes for people to introduce a welcome sense of ease into daily life. Through this journey of homebuilding, we’ve also come to learn that the security of having a safe space to call home is one that should be made genuinely affordable to all. That is why we have supported Community Partners for Affordable Housing (CPAH) for the last decade, financially and through pro bono architectural services. CPAH is a HUD-certified affordable housing nonprofit organization that has a thriving Community Land Trust (CPAH CLT). Historically, CPAH CLT has primarily been working in Highland Park, Evanston and Lake Forest, all communities that have dedicated funds for affordable housing.

As residents of Wilmette for over 25 years, we identified a gap in our community’s commitment to building affordable homes. The Village of Wilmette does offer mortgage assistance but does not currently have recurring funding streams to support affordable housing development. Organizations like CPAH, rely, in part, on municipal contributions to make these affordable homes a reality. In 2020, we created the Morgante Wilson Foundation (MWF), a 501(c)(3) non profit foundation, to help fill this financial gap dedicated to affordable housing in Wilmette and other north suburban communities of Chicago.

As many of you know, Wilmette and the greater north shore communities of Chicagoland offer access to many privileges like great schools, park district programs, exceptional libraries, and a supportive community. All these valuable amenities along with a safe and secure home comprise the quality of life that we all deserve. We appreciate any and all support and interest in our organization. Please consider joining us in furthering our mission.

Elissa & Fred

Our Vision, Mission and Strategy

Our Vision
Everyone deserves a place to call home. MWF believes that thoughtful and affordable homes are the necessary foundation for people to grow and thrive and become part of a community.

Our Mission
To help create affordable homes in perpetuity based on Community Land Trust (CLT) principles by supporting affordable housing organizations, enabling families to be nurtured by a secure home in Wilmette and North Suburban Chicago communities.

Our 3-prong Strategy

  • Contribute the necessary capital to fill the funding gap in those communities that do not have dedicated funding sources for affordable housing
  • Provide expert design and construction support
  • Leverage our professional network for pro-bono architectural services, installation and in-kind donation.

Our Approach

We believe home ownership is an asset that fosters a sense of security that enables people to grow, thrive and build wealth within a community. Affordable housing offers this opportunity to individuals. And we believe affordable housing should be sustainable, ensuring viable, affordable homes to people over generations.

This is why we champion the Community Land Trust (CLT) model to offer affordable home ownership in perpetuity. A CLT is a tool for developing permanently affordable homes for households with limited resources by reducing the cost of purchasing. The land is owned by the Community Land Trust, enabling the home to be purchased at a greatly reduced price, not just for the first homebuyer but for all future homebuyers.

Our Core Pillars

Morgante Wilson Foundation partners with organizations and individuals that support the Community Land Trust (CLT) model through three core pillars:

  • Purchasing a Home: We fundraise throughout the year and use those financial contributions to support the development of affordable CLT homes by affordable housing organization. We are currently partnering in this way with CPAH.
  • Promoting the CLT model: We promote the CLT model through our networks in the community and advocate for affordable housing initiatives and CLT model at City Council Meetings.
  • Partnering with Professionals to Design and Build the Home: We seek out architectural and building professionals to provide pro-bono services such as designing, permitting, and materials assistance. Partners provide quality goods and services while helping non-profit organizations save valuable resources.

Our hope is that our work will facilitate the creation of 14 homes in Wilmette over the next four years.

Get Involved

We appreciate any and all support and interest in our organization. You can join us in our mission of bettering our communities in two ways:

  1. Donate to the MWF fund and help build a new home for a family in Wilmette
  2. For companies and vendors: Become a partner financially or through in-kind donations