New Illinois legislation expands affordable housing and incentives

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pritzker signing law

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed House Bill 2621 into law, creating new financing programs and tax incentives to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing in communities across the state.

The legislation includes several provisions aimed at reducing the shortage of affordable housing and builds on efforts to support housing stability in areas disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, the governors’ office said in a July 29 statement. The bill passed both the House and Senate with unanimous bipartisan support.

The governor also signed Senate Bill 0265 into law, prioritizing access to the state’s Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for families with young children and expanding access to undocumented residents.

“These two new laws mark another step forward by state government on our collective mission to ensure all our residents have the basic foundation upon which to build a successful future for themselves and their families,” Pritzker said in the statement. “To date, our COVID-19 relief dollars have helped more than 289,000 families pay their utility bills and over 76,000 families stay in their homes, with tens of thousands more to come. With this legislation, we’ll fund 3,500 new affordable rental units – changing the lives of thousands more families for the better.”

HB 2621 directs the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) to create a COVID-19 Affordable Housing Grant Program to support the construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in areas most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This program directs $75 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to multifamily development costs to help keep rent affordable for low-income households. The program will supplement properties that qualify for federal low-income housing tax credits and is expected to fund the development and preservation of up to 3,500 affordable rental homes and apartments by the end of 2024.

The bill also extends the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit through 2026 to encourage monetary or real estate donations to affordable housing developments. The program provides a one-time state of Illinois income tax credit equal to 50% of the value of qualified donations to affordable housing developments. Since the program was created in 2001, it has motivated donations of land, buildings or funds to support the development of 21,000 affordable rental units.

In addition, HB2621 will create two separate property tax incentives to support the preservation of affordable housing, including a provision that encourages owners of multifamily buildings with 7 or more units to invest in their properties and keep rents affordable by providing reductions in post-improvement assessed value. The legislation also strengthens existing state law requiring communities with limited stock of affordable housing to create plans to address their local housing needs..”

HB 2621 is effective immediately. SB 0265 is effective Jan. 1, 2022.

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