HB 504, the Live Near Work bill, passed the House easily in May and had the support of at least 15 organizations and governments (including the Metropolitan Planning Council, Chicago Metropolis 2020 and the Illinois Association of Realtors), but couldn't find enough support in the Senate Rules Committee to pass to the Senate floor.
A remedy to the growing mismatch between jobs and housing, H.B. 504 may have been the most widely supported balanced growth bill of the spring session. The bill would have provided a matching fund to encourage private sector employers to assist their workers in finding housing closer to work.
Supporters of Live Near Work were disappointed that the bill was not passed. "We are disappointed that the Senate leadership wouldn't move a bill with so much support," noted Samatha DeKoven, MPC housing associate. "We are pleased, however, with the initial allocation for employer-assisted housing made by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA)."
Based on the success of an employer-assisted housing program at St. Charles based manufacturer System Sensor, IHDA made funds available to match employer commitments to employer-assisted housing initiatives in northeastern Illinois. [For more information, see State will help employees buy homes closer to work.]
This was the second year in a row that Live Near Work did not receive sufficient support in the Senate after having passed the House unanimously.