Sens. Feigenholtz, Hunter and Gillespie

SPRINGFIELD – An effort to create more affordable housing for Illinois residents led by State Senators Mattie Hunter, Ann Gillespie and Sara Feigenholtz passed the Senate Sunday. 

“People are still recovering from the financial struggles brought on by the pandemic, making affordable housing more necessary than ever before,” said Hunter (D-Chicago). “With many people behind on rent and struggling with unemployment, we have to do more to help them.”

House Bill 2621 would create several monetary incentives for residential developers to create affordable housing in Illinois, including the COVID-19 Affordable Housing Grant Program, which would supplement affordable housing developments that qualify for federal tax credits throughout the state.

“We need a long-term strategy for affordable housing,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “Creating incentives in the housing market will produce better options and more stable lives for working families across the state.”

A reduction in assessed value for developers of newly constructed multi-family development that agrees to set aside at least 20% of their units for low-income renters in areas with low affordability for a period of 30 years would be leveraged to diversify high opportunity areas under the measure.

Additionally, there would be another reduction in assessed value for developers of newly-constructed or rehabilitated rental property if the owner commits at least 15% of the multifamily building's units are set aside for low-income renters for 10 years.

“The need for affordable housing across Illinois has continued to escalate as the pandemic continues,” said Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “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.”

The measure has passed the Senate and goes back to the House for concurrence.