Senator Gillespie speaks while on the Senate floor.

SPRINGFIELD — Building on her commitment to creating long-term solutions for affordable housing shortages across the state, State Senator Ann Gillespie passed legislation in the Illinois Senate that will require more communities to have plans in place to meet the needs of low- to moderate-income families.

“A lack of access to affordable living spaces is a challenge we must continue to address,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “There is more to be done to make sure families, including our most vulnerable, do not find themselves priced out of the area in which they reside.”

Under the Illinois Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act, local governments are exempt if at least 10% of their housing stock consists of affordable housing. This designation results in about 46 of Illinois' 1,298 municipalities being covered by the act, which requires a plan detailing the total number of affordable housing units available and intended steps to ramp up offerings to meet demand.

Senate Bill 1476 would expand the non-exempt pool of local governments from those with 10% of affordable housing to those with 15%, increasing the number of governments required to submit plans. This measure also strengthens the requirements of affordable housing plans, providing that they must set forth certain benchmarks for new affordable housing developments and proposed timelines, along with a summary of actions taken to implement the plan.

“The Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act is designed to encourage counties and municipalities to plan for and incorporate enough affordable housing to meet the needs of their residents,” said Gillespie. “These changes will ensure that areas that do not have a sufficient supply of affordable homes or rental units will take concrete steps to resolve these housing shortages, with specific timelines and benchmarks in place to meet those goals.”

Senate Bill 1476 passed the Senate on Thursday and awaits consideration in the House.