Seniors, people with disabilities, and working families will benefit most from the legislation, which aims to increase the availability of affordable and workforce housing near jobs and transportation
Rod Blagojevich today signed two key pieces of housing legislation that will
boost the creation of quality, affordable homes near jobs and transportation,
making meaningful progress toward accomplishing a fundamental and critical objective
comprehensive housing plan, according to the Metropolitan Planning Council
(MPC), a longtime housing advocate.
MPC strongly supports
both the Comprehensive Housing Planning Act and the Business Location Efficiency
Incentive Act (also known as “Location Matters”) and commends the governor for
enacting the legislation, which will continue the state’s momentum to provide a
range of housing options to meet the needs of all
region, a family would need to earn more than $74,000 per year to afford the
average home, which in 2005 sold for $234,000. Renters face similar obstacles: a
family would need to earn at least $32,095 annually or $15.43 hourly to afford
the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment, which cost $802 in 2005,
pricing out many low-wage and minimum-wage workers.
“Across Illinois, working
families, seniors on fixed incomes, people with disabilities, and many others
are struggling to find homes they can afford in desirable communities,” said
MarySue Barrett, MPC president. “By enacting this legislation, Gov. Blagojevich
is answering the call from business, municipal and community leaders for tools
and policies that support affordable and workforce housing. These policies
signal real progress to promote vibrant communities across
families afford homes near jobs and transportation.”
MPC also commends Ill.
Sens. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) and Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills), and Ill. Reps.
Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) and Kathy Ryg (D-Vernon Hills), whose strong leadership
helped secure passage of the Comprehensive Housing Planning Act and the Business
Location Efficiency Incentive Act.
The Comprehensive Housing
Planning Act transforms Illinois’ first housing policy – created in 2003 by
executive order of Gov. Blagojevich – into a law requiring yearly assessment of
the state’s progress toward preserving and creating more affordable, workforce
housing. The legislation also requires the state to link spending in key areas
such as economic development, transportation, and human services, which will
translate into more homes being built in “opportunity areas” – near jobs and
Under the new law,
the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) must submit an annual progress
report to the governor and the General Assembly to evaluate the progress made
toward achieving the projected goals of the housing plan.
“Plans can only be truly
effective when there is a mechanism in place to evaluate the achievements,”
explained IHDA Executive Director Kelly King Dibble. “The progress report will
ensure that government remains accountable, and that work is being done in the
areas that are needed.”
“Location Matters” is
just one example of how the Comprehensive Housing Planning Act will increase the
availability of quality, affordable homes near jobs, in this case by offering
incentives for employers who invest in housing options for the local workforce.
Indeed, these incentives truly pay off, reducing commute times, traffic
congestion, and air pollution; helping business build a stable workforce; and
allowing people to spend more time with their families and in their
“Many communities in
working to provide more housing opportunities for residents, but local leaders
say they need help connecting the dots between their local housing initiatives
and the wide array of state resources available to support community
development, including infrastructure investments, transit, economic
development, and financial resources. These two pieces of legislation will make
it easier for communities to make those connections,” said Joanna Trotter, MPC
housing associate, whose daily work is helping local communities expand their
For background on the Comprehensive Housing Planning Act
and Business Location Efficiency Incentive Act, visit MPC's Web site or www.reachillinois.org.
For comment from the Metropolitan Planning Council, please contact Mandy
Burrell, communications associate, at 312-863-6018 (office), 773-640-1206
(cell), or firstname.lastname@example.org; Joanna Trotter, housing associate,
at 312-863-6008 or email@example.com; or Robin Snyderman, housing
director, at 847-420-3261 (cell).
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