Senators Gillespie, Feigenholtz and HunterCHICAGO – To help keep housing costs reasonable for working families, legislation championed by State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) that encourages the development of affordable housing units was signed into law.

“Renters across the state are counting on us to keep their communities affordable,” Gillespie said. “This plan creates a long-term strategy for affordable housing and provides stability for working people.”

House Bill 2621 combines measures from affordable housing initiatives introduced this year by Senators Ann Gillespie, Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). It creates incentives in the housing market for affordable housing units, enforces the mandatory affordable housing plan for cities with at least 1,000 residents and changes how the Cook County assessor’s office calculates the tax liability for affordable housing complexes.

“Affordable housing is a cause I’ve advocated for my whole career, and I hope that affordable and equitable options prevail long after this pandemic is gone,” Hunter said. “As the eviction moratorium is coming to a halt, people need help with housing more than ever.”

The legislation creates two property tax incentives: one for rehabilitation and one for new construction of affordable housing units. These incentives address the lack of affordable options in high-opportunity areas, as well as in areas of need. To receive either incentive, property owners must commit to keeping a fixed percentage of units affordable for extended periods specified in the legislation.

“The need for affordable housing across Illinois has continued to escalate as the pandemic continues,” said Feigenholtz. “The housing crisis is one of the most crucial issues we are facing in Illinois, and providing landlords with incentives to offer tenants more affordable rent is a necessary step forward.”

House Bill 2621 also creates the COVID-19 Affordable Housing Grant Program to build and preserve up to 3,500 affordable rental homes. The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) will administer grants to properties awarded a federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, with priority given to projects that contract with organized labor, apprenticeship programs, and women-, veteran- and minority-owned contractors. IHDA would enforce the program.

The measure also strengthens the current law that requires cities of at least 1,000 residents to submit an affordable housing plan to IHDA. Both IHDA and the attorney general would be given greater authority to enforce these plans.

The legislation also requires the Cook County assessor to consider the actual or projected income earned from an affordable housing development, rather than assessing the property as receiving market rate rental income. County assessors outside of Cook County are encouraged to use this model but are not required.

House Bill 2621 is effective immediately.

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Springfield Office:
121A Capitol Building
Springfield IL 62706
Phone: 217-782-4471

Arlington Heights Office:
171 W. Wing St., #202
Arlington Heights IL 60005
Phone: 847-749-1880