A new affordable housing incentive that has drawn high marks from developers and housing advocates alike is poised to become law soon.
Lawmakers in Illinois passed a housing bill that includes tax incentives in exchange for new affordable rental housing and investment in existing units. The bill is awaiting Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature, according to the Chicago Tribune.
There are several potential cuts to a property’s future assessed value, tied to the level of construction and the number of affordable units. Developments need at least seven units to qualify, as well as an investment in the property and affordable apartments for renters who make less than 60 percent of the area’s median income.
Eligible buildings can see big tax cuts for keeping at least 20 percent of units affordable, though they must be committed to the program for 30 years.
The incentive is already paying dividends at one development in Fulton Market. Related Midwest is set on keeping 20 percent of their units affordable in their 43-story planned development. That adds up to 60 of the expected 300 units in the building.
Other projects expected to take advantage of the various incentive programs include a 167-unit development in Englewood and 42 units of affordable housing at a Pilsen theater, both being undertaken by 5T Management.
Chicago’s Affordable Requirements Ordinance forced developers to add affordable units with most new projects.
In March, Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed an overhaul of the ordinance. Her proposal called for doubling the amount of required affordable units in new construction, which opponents say will discourage development.
[Chicago Tribune] — Holden Walter-Warner