Council backs housing near jobs, transportation - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Council backs housing near jobs, transportation

One way to view housing and transportation issues together is to create affordable housing near workplaces.

One program, through the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Council , offers subsidies to developers and owners of rental units near jobs and transportation in Cook, Lake and McHenry counties.

The Regional Housing Initiative provides a funding stream for up to 10 years, and is extendable, said Robin Snyderman, MPC housing director.

"RHI is a really simple concept," Snyderman said. "We wanted to experiment with the supply side in order to spur some new activity."

The goal is to provide housing for people within 12 miles of where they work or plan to work, if the renter is in job training, Snyderman said.

Creating housing opportunities near employment centers needs a collaborative strategy of public and private interests, and must utilize a variety of tactics, she added.

"It's a slow-motion process," Snyderman said. "I think the difficult part will be finding developers who can make this work because land costs are so high. But this is a part of a larger strategy."

Seven developments have been supported by the MPC , and three of them are up and running.

One development, in Rolling Meadows, is in the middle of the process, Snyderman said.

"We're eager to support developments that meet these criteria," she said.

For developers or owners of multi-family buildings interested in the Regional Housing Initiative program, information is available at www.regionalhousinginitiative.org.

Those not applying for tax credits can submit applications through the end of the year.

Applicants planning to participate in the next round of Illinois Housing Development Authority low-income housing tax credits, which deadlines Dec. 4, can contact Roberto Requejo at (312) 863-6015 by Nov. 17.

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