By most accounts, it is apparent that the United States lacks sufficient affordable housing to satisfy its needs. In an effort to remedy its own "affordability gap," Illinois enacted the Affordable Housing Planning and Appeals Act, a largely market-driven measure that will provide frustrated developers with a new appeals mechanism from unfavorable local land use decisions. This new mechanism will empower a statewide appeals board to override local zoning decisions, under certain circumstances, in an effort to remove roadblocks to affordable housing construction. In taking this approach, Illinois follows the example of Massachusetts, which has had a similar measure in effect for over three decades. As the Illinois Act has already generated some controversy among local officials, including claims that it does not apply to "home rule" communities, it is instructive to consider the challenges brought against the Massachusetts Act and the probable outcome of similar challenges to the Illinois Act. This Note undertakes that analysis and concludes that while such challenges are unlikely to invalidate the Illinois Act, they are likely to drastically limit its effectiveness in prompting affordable housing construction. Therefore, this Note concludes with several recommendations for strengthening and clarifying the Illinois Act in order to preserve its intended effect.
Christian B. Hennion,
Home Sweet Home? What Massachusetts Can Tell Us about the Prospects for the Illinois Affordable Housing Planning and Appeal Act,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol81/iss2/14