Senator Gillespie sits in front of a microphone and speaks while gesturing with her hands.

SPRINGFIELD — Legislation sponsored by State Senator Ann Gillespie that strengthens the requirements for municipalities’ affordable housing plans has been signed into law.

“To be successful, a plan must have a clear objective and a roadmap for achieving it – the complexities of affordable housing are no different,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “The additional required criteria within affordable housing plans will help governments make sure they have measurable, achievable and timely steps in place to meet their residents’ needs.”

The legislation amends the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act, revising the definition of affordable housing to include the costs of any required parking, maintenance or landlord-imposed fees in rental units when calculating the amount of affordable housing in a given area. Local governments that are required to submit affordable housing plans must include benchmarks for new affordable housing developments and proposed timelines, along with a summary of actions taken to implement the plan.

Previously, affordable housing developers could appeal a decision on an affordable housing development if their application was denied, or if it was approved with conditions that made it infeasible. Under this new law, both developers and residents of the municipality where an affordable housing development was proposed can appeal a decision.

“By expanding the pool of people who can appeal a decision on an affordable housing development, we are giving residents a voice in the changes within their communities,” Gillespie added.

Senate Bill 1476 was signed by the governor Aug. 4 and will go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.