Chicago Affordable Housing
Originally passed in 2003, the Illinois Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act (AHPAA) requires cities with populations of at least 1,000 residents and less than ten percent affordable housing to submit their affordable housing plans to the state. Gail Schechter sits on the Illinois Housing Appeals Board, but she has never heard a case. The board was brought together in 2009 and fully appointed by Governor Pat Quinn in 2012 to provide checks and balances while Illinois communities create affordable housing. Affordable housing developers who believe they have been treated unfairly or rejected by a municipality are given a chance to appeal a city’s decision to reject their project. However, developers are not utilizing the appeals process. According to Schechter via WBEZ, “a developer just wants to do business. If they can’t build what they want to build, they’ll go to another community.”
Starting May 1, 2021, Accessory Dwelling Units (“ADUs”) will be legalized in five pilot areas around the city of Chicago. Chicago faces a declining population, a slow homebuilding pace, and an affordable housing gap of approximately 116,000 units. These ADUs are intended to increase access to affordable housing, but the ordinance isn’t expected to make a large impact on Chicago’s affordable housing gap.