On Aug. 24 Gov. George Ryan signed into law the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit (Senate Bill 1135), which will raise $26 million in new housing funds statewide. Sponsored by Rep. Arthur Turner (D-Chicago) and Sen. William Peterson (R-Long Grove), the new law provides a 50-cent credit for every $1 donated to a qualifying housing project. Some $13 million in foregone state revenue will leverage another $13 million in private funding. Of the total, $4 million will be dedicated to employer-assisted housing programs, and another $2 million will go toward technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and other eligible groups. These are both priorities of MPC's.
The legislation was born out of the Public Private Finance Initiative, an effort spearheaded in 1999 by the Chicago Rehab Network and the City of Chicago's Department of Housing. MPC played a supportive role, and with Shorebank Development Corporation co-chaired the committee on employer-assisted housing. Moreover, the compelling findings of MPC's 1999 Regional Rental Market Analysis, which documented a decade-long erosion of the region's supply of rental housing, provided critical underlying support.