Pritzker signs legislation to expand affordable housing in Illinois

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation on Thursday that increases affordable housing and expands access to a state energy program for low-income residents.

The bill dedicates $75 million of COVID-19 relief money to go towards new, multifamily dwellings for those with lower incomes. These homes will be built in areas most impacted by the pandemic.

Pritzker administration officials say it includes housing that qualifies for federal low-income housing tax credits. It should cover the building and rehabbing of 3,500 rental homes and apartments by the end of 2024.

The bill also extends the Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credit through 2026.


The governor also praised the state's accomplishment at keeping thousands safe at home during the pandemic.

"In 2020, Illinois was the best state in the nation at getting relief to renters and homeowners, investing more than $320 million to keep 56,000 at-risk families safe at home during the pandemic," Pritzker said.

Another part of the law encourages affordable housing preservation with reductions in assessed property valuation after improvements. It also extends a program begun in 2001 that provides a 50% tax credit for donations of money or real estate to affordable housing developments and strengthens state law requiring cities with insufficient affordable housing stock to develop plans.

Pritzker also signed another bill on Thursday that makes families with children a priority for the state’s low-income energy assistance program. It also expands access to LIHEAP — for Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program — to undocumented residents.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.