Senate Bill 2290, the Comprehensive Housing Planning Act,
transforms Illinois' existing housing planning requirement, created
in 2003 by the governor's executive order, into a permanent measure
to create and preserve affordable housing across the state by
coordinating the efforts of state agencies providing housing
programs, such as the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the
departments of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Human Services,
Aging, Veterans' Affairs, and Healthcare and Family Services.
governor also signed into law
Senate Bill 2885, the Business Location Efficiency Incentive
Act, to provide additional business benefits to qualifying companies
that locate in areas with affordable housing and access to public
transportation. The legislation increases the availability of
business tax credits through the Illinois Department of Commerce and
Economic Opportunity's Economic Development for a Growing Economy
tax credit program, known as EDGE. Creating affordable housing
opportunities near workplaces and public transportation is one of
the governor's housing priorities.
"Working families, seniors and the disabled need good homes they
can afford. Many people struggle to find a house they can afford
close to their place of work and public transportation. These laws
will help make sure that state agencies work together on housing
issues and coordinate their resources to help people find the homes
they can afford, and will also give incentives to business to move
to areas close to affordable housing developments," Blagojevich
Senate Bill 2290 was sponsored by state Rep. Julie Hamos,
D-Evanston, and Sen. Iris Martinez, D-Chicago. It requires that an
annual comprehensive housing plan be developed every year until 2016
to address the housing needs of Illinois and to guide state agencies
as they work to increase affordable housing options for Illinois.
The bill also states that the housing plan must:
Identify all funding
sources for which the state has administrative control.
Set goals for the
number and types of housing units to be constructed, preserved
recommendations for the programs needed to construct, preserve
and rehabilitate housing units.
Advise on specific
actions needed to ensure the coordination of state agency
Suggest how to
promote the construction, preservation and rehabilitation of
affordable housing by the private and not-for-profit sector.
"This is the first time in Illinois history that a governor of
our state has required the coordinated planning of housing programs
from state agencies," said Hamos. "This streamlined approach will
use existing resources more effectively and leverage additional
resources for the fundamentally important housing needs of the
"Codifying the executive order guarantees that any changes in
administration will not compromise the progress that housing
advocates have made. Developing comprehensive housing plans allows
the state to maximize public and private resources to ensure safe
and affordable housing," said Martinez.
"Housing and community organizations are very excited to have a
permanent planning law in place that allows the organizations to
work effectively with state agencies under a comprehensive and
coordinated approach," said Kevin Jackson, executive director of the
Chicago Rehab Network, an organization comprised of many community
development corporations. "Now the nonprofit sector can improve our
local communities in partnership with government and in support of
the state's priorities and goals."
The new law specifically identifies six underserved populations
that must be addressed in the state's annual comprehensive plan:
very low-income households and families, low-income seniors,
low-income people with disabilities, homeless people and those at
risk of becoming homeless, people unable to find affordable housing
near jobs or transportation, and people living in existing
affordable housing that is in danger of becoming unaffordable.
"By identifying six priority populations in the law, the governor
has raised the level of awareness and attention given to some of the
state's most vulnerable populations, particularly in the area of
homelessness," said Julie Dworkin of the Chicago Coalition for the
Homeless. "We are hopeful that with the enactment of this law, we
will continue to see leadership from the governor through the
creation of more innovating and effective new programs such as the
Rental Housing Support Program that he signed into law last year."
"A coordinated approach is fundamentally important for developing
housing for seniors," added Wayne Smallwood, executive director of
the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition. "One example is the highly
successful SLF program, where IHDA, the Department of Healthcare and
Family Services, developers, service providers, and others all work
together to make the program an excellent success."
Under the new law, the Illinois Housing Development Authority
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," said Kelly King Dibble,
executive director of the housing authority. "The progress report
will ensure that government remains accountable and that work is
being done in the areas that are needed."
The Comprehensive Housing Planning Act creates a subcommittee
consisting of representatives from 15 state agencies to develop the
annual housing plan. A permanent State Housing Task Force made up of
housing leaders and state agency directors with housing-related
programs will be established to advise the subcommittee. The task
force will be chaired by Dibble.
The bill also requires state agencies to annually identify
funding available for affordable housing development and support
services. The Illinois Housing Development Authority and the
subcommittee of agency representatives must issue a joint "Notice of
Funding Availability" to notify potential applicants of funding for
the programs and details of the application process. Details
regarding the target number and types of housing units to be
constructed, rehabilitated or preserved; which priority population
the project will be serving; and eligibility requirements for
applicants must be included in the notice.
Through Senate Bill 2885, businesses that locate in an area with
existing affordable housing or accessible mass transit for the
company's work force could qualify to receive up to 10 percent more
than the maximum tax credit in the EDGE program. The amount of the
tax credit is calculated on a case-by-case basis, and the credit can
never exceed the total amount of the business' tax liability. The
EDGE program, which helps Illinois compete with surrounding states
in attracting and retaining companies, awards nonrefundable
corporate income tax credits for up to 10 years, based on job
creation and retention.
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To be eligible for the additional credits, businesses must submit
a "Location Efficiency Report" that describes the existence of
affordable housing, based on current census data, or of accessible
mass transit, which is defined as access to transit stops within one
mile from the project site. The Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity, with the assistance of other state agencies, will
determine if an applicant qualifies for the additional benefits.
If a company cannot demonstrate that the proposed site meets the
law's requirements, the business may still be eligible for the
increased tax credits if it (1) submits a plan to increase employee
access to housing or transportation; or (2) creates jobs within a
"labor surplus area" that has an unemployment rate 20 percent above
the national average.
State Sen. Terry Link, D-Lake Bluff, and state Rep. Kathleen Ryg,
D-Vernon Hills, sponsored Senate Bill 2885.
"Governor Blagojevich and I agree that from a policy and planning
standpoint, state government should work to provide the tools that
promote smart business growth," Link said. "The Business Location
Efficiency Incentive Act is a step in the right direction to
encourage businesses throughout the state to address the needs of
our working families."
"We can make Illinois a more attractive place for business by
using economic development incentives more effectively," said Ryg.
"Businesses are looking for sites with housing for their workers and
fewer traffic jams. It helps them attract and keep a stable work
force, and they know that easier commutes to good jobs are
important to growing our communities and our quality of life."
Senate Bill 2885 had broad support from groups such as Chicago
Metropolis 2020, Homebuilders Association of Greater Chicago,
Illinois Housing Council, Metropolitan Planning Council and Citizen
"With this new law, Illinois government signals the importance
not just of encouraging job growth, but encouraging new jobs close
to workers' homes or within an easy commute," said George A. Ranney
Jr., president and chief executive officer of Chicago Metropolis
2020. "The creation of jobs near mass transit and a ready pool of
workers lessens the impact on traffic congestion, reduces the need
for expensive new highways and allows working families to cut
commute times and spend more time with their families. When it comes
to economic development, location really does matter."
"As we continue to add new jobs, it only makes sense that we
improve the business development tools we use to encourage
businesses to address the important needs of our work force," said
Jack Lavin, director of the Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity. "Governor Blagojevich has signed an important piece of
legislation that increases our ability to promote business locations
near affordable housing and public transportation."
Senate Bill 2290 is effective immediately. Senate Bill 2885 is
effective Jan. 1, 2007.
The Comprehensive Planning Act legislation culminates nearly four
years of nationally recognized leadership in affordable housing
policy in Illinois. Under the leadership of Blagojevich, Illinois is
now one of the most progressive states in the nation in regard to
affordable housing, with a record of accomplishment that includes
Created the first
statewide Affordable Housing Task Force. Brought together 230
active members of Illinois' affordable housing community,
including state and local agencies, private and nonprofit
developers, service providers, activists, community leaders, and
elected officials, to help develop a comprehensive housing plan
for Illinois and develop a better and coordinated approach to
financing and developing affordable housing.
"Building for Success: Illinois' Comprehensive Housing Plan
2006" and "On the Road to Success: Illinois' Comprehensive
Housing Plan 2005" which outline targets, goals and strategies
to coordinate and implement a comprehensive housing plan in
Affordable Housing Tax Credit for an additional five years to
continue to provide an important state resource for financing
affordable housing. This program annually awards approximately
$20 million in tax credits to leverage $40 million in direct
donations. In three years it has leveraged more than $600
million in additional financing.
Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act into law to require
municipalities with less than 10 percent affordable housing to
create, pass and implement an affordable housing plan to aid the
development of more affordable housing.
Federally Subsidized Housing Preservation Act into law to
require owners of federally subsidized affordable housing to
notify their tenants of any intent to sell the property with
sufficient notice so that tenants can organize and purchase the
property to maintain its affordability components.
Signed the Rental
Housing Support Program Act in law to create the nation's
largest state supported rental assistance program. It is
expected to generate $25 million annually and help as many as
Created the new
I-LOAN Mortgage and I-LOAN certificate program, which increased
homeownership production 85 percent since 2003, from $125
million then to $224 million in 2005, that now helps more than
2,000 families each year afford to buy their first home.
Opportunity I-Loan to provide homeownership opportunities for
families that do not have access to traditional and conventional
financial markets. The program offers mortgages to families with
a lack of credit history.
the state's Employer Assisted Housing programs to leverage
private sector dollars to aid in moderate-income homeownership
Supportive Living Facility program, which allows Medicaid
waivers to be used for seniors who do not need acute nursing
care, enabling them to avoid nursing homes and live with less
costly supportive services, such as cooked meals, medication
reminders and help with dressing and daily chores.
for services in supportive housing projects every year to $13.84
million in fiscal 2007 to provide a home and support to almost
2,000 additional mentally ill or formerly homeless individuals
[News release from the governor's