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Illinois expands affordable housing funding and incentives

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation on Thursday, July 29 that creates new financing programs and tax incentives for affordable housing in the state.

CHICAGO — Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a bill on Thursday, July 29 that aims to expand affordable housing and incentives across the state.

Under the law, the Illinois Housing Development Authority will create a COVID-19 Affordable Housing Grant Program that will help build and renovate up to 3,500 affordable housing units in areas most impacted by the pandemic. 

The program uses $75 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to help keep rent affordable.

“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," the Governor said in a statement. "With this legislation, we’ll fund 3,500 new affordable rental units – changing the lives of thousands more families for the better.”

As far as incentives to create affordable housing, the law extends the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit through 2026 to encourage monetary or real estate donations to affordable housing developments. Donations will be given a one-time income tax credit equal to 50% of their value.

To help maintain affordable housing properties, owners of buildings with seven or more units who invest in their properties and keep rent affordable will be given reductions in post-improvement assessed values. 

The bill passed both the House and Senate with unanimous bipartisan support.

The Governor also signed legislation that expanding the state’s low-income heating and energy assistance program. It prioritizes access to families with young children, as well as expanding access to undocumented residents.

The law expanding housing and incentives is effective immediately. The law expanding the heat and energy assistance program is effective January 1, 2022. 

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